Skip to main content

Full text of "From squire to prince; being a history of the rise of the house of Cirksena"

See other formats




"We can heartily congratulate Mr W. P. Dodge on producing a 
really excellent monograph in Piers Gaveston, both well written and 
singularly complete. So painstaking has he been in consulting original 
authorities, both printed and MS., that his study of seven somewhat 
obscure years of English history is not likely soon to be superseded. . . . 
He shows a care for accuracy and a patience of investigation which 
would do credit to the most experienced historian." — Literature. 

"Mr Dodge's careful portrait of the man, drawn from the contem- 
porary records, will afford useful material for the future historian of the 
fourteenth century." — Academy. 

"As a chapter of early history, the work is distinctly valuable, and 
the student of history will be grateful to Mr Dodge for the care and 
industry which he has brought to bear on the subject. . . . The book 
is admirably got up, and contains a number of interesting illustrations." 
— Publishers' Circular. 

" The book is of undoubted historical interest, and is well and care- 
fully written."— H^or/^. 

" The monograph is most exact and painstaking, and the view taken 
is correct." — Daily Chronicle. 

"It is a painstaking and conscientious account of one who was 
'practically Dictator of England,' and supplies a distinct want in 
English \i\%\.oxy."— Antiquary. 

" The book deserves very careful reading."— .SZ/awJ^/j Budget. 

" Mr Dodge has produced a work of genuine value."— Z^azTy News. 

PRESS OPimONS— continued. 

" Mr Dodge not only gives us such a detailed life of Gaveston as is 
now compilable, but he gives us also an informing sketch of the 
development of Constitution during the reign of Edward I." — Literary 

*' It may well be doubted whether a professed historian could have 
made more of the frivolous favourite of King Edward II. than he has 
done. . . . The suggestive view of Gaveston's character presented by 
Mr Dodge is supported at all points by a wide and well-digested 
learning in the original writers of the fourteenth century. . . . No one 
whi prizes history could regret to read {Piers Gaveston) ; for there is no 
other book that gives so complete an account of its subject ; few 
historical monographs so readable." — Scotsman. 

" Mr Dodge's volume is worthy of perusal, both as an interesting 
narrative and as a careful piece of historical work. . . . Mr Dodge 
has shown great industry in bringing together the facts of Gaveston's 
career, and considerable skill in weaving these into a succinct story." — 
Dundee Advertiser. 

" Mr Dodge's volume is an engrossing record of a strange person- 
ality." — Aberdeen Free Press. 

" He has made a considerable and careful research, and has pro- 
duced a book which is a real contribution to the history of our own 
countr}'," — Baptist Times. 

Illustrated, Demy %vo, cloth, 12s. 






From a porlrait in the 'J own Hall 
at Auricli | 

[F lonllspiccc. 










I 90 I 

[j4// rights resentd]. 







THE REIGN OF ENNO II. — {rontinued) 






. Frontispiece 

To face page 26 













JUTTING out into the North Sea, its low 
coasts beaten always by the harsh winds 
and stormy waves of the German Ocean, is the 
ancient Lordship of East Frisia. Now a part of 
the ever-widening kingdom of Prussia, memories 
of its former history as an independent land are 
growing dim ; and the stout old warriors of the 
House of Cirksena, Count Ulrich and his 
descendants, have almost vanished in the mist 
of the Middle Ages. 

East Frisia, however, as a country, and the 
Cirksena as its Counts, may claim a place in 
history, for their qualities as men, as soldiers, 
and as rulers are worthy of careful consideration. 
There is something pathetic in the contemplation 
of this vanished state. Its rulers were men of 
eminence and renown in their day, and their 

1 A 


position in the feudal German Empire under the 
Habsburgs was neither unimportant nor in- 

The story of the gradual rise of the Chief of 
Gretsyl, the Head of the House of Cirksena, to 
the dignity of Count and Prince of East Frisia, is 
well worthy of study, and is not lacking in 
elements of romance. 

The origin of the House of Gretsyl or the 
House of Cirksena, as it is indijfferently called, is 
referred to by Herr Ehrenreich Gerhard Coldewej^ 
an East Frisian Councillor and Chancellor, in a 
rare " poem," written (to celebrate the twenty- 
sixth birthday of Carl Edzard, the last Count 
and Prince of East Frisia), on 16th January 


According to the author, there is no need to 
prove " the blameless antiquity of the most 
noble and princely House of East Frisia." 

The Deriod of time between the accession of 
Ulrich as Head- Chief in 1441, his appoint- 
ment as first Count of East Frisia in 1454, and 
the death of his descendant, Enno III., in 1625, 

is rich in incident and valuable to students of 



history, as illustrating the inevitable forward 
movement so strongly marked in the German 
race durincr the sixteenth and seventeenth 

The rulers of East Frisia knew their people, 
for they were of them. This, however, did not 
detract from their dignity. The fact that Enno 
III. issued, in addition to the ordinary coinage 
of the time, square coins, or Miijpes, which were 
both artistic and costly, is in itself significant and 
valuable as a testimony to his wealth and standing. 
Such square coins were, as a rule, struck only by 
Princes whose position and treasure enabled 
them by this means to satisfy their pride and 
desire for fame. These klippes were issued by 
several German Princes, notably by the Prince 
Archbishop of Salsburg. 

As an independant state in the Holy Ptoman 

Empire, as a Prussian possession after the death 

of the last Prince Carl Edzard in 1744, as a 

conquest of the first Napoleon, as a part of 

Holland, again of Prussia, then of Hanover and 

now finally as a province of Prussia since 1866, 

East Frisia, the modern Ost-Friesland, the 



Frisia Orientalis of the old coins, is always to 
be regarded with interest. 

Among its towns, Aurich is quaint and 
picturesque ; while the smaller islands of 
Wangeroog and Spiekeroog are curious, and 
have a flavour of old German life. The Frisian 
people still preserve the qualities that sent many 
families (including some allied to the reigning 
House), in stout assertion of their principles, to 
England, and to the Connecticut Colony of 1628, 
when England was literally a sea-girt isle, the 
conquests of the present day undreamed of, and 
America was known as but a trackless waste. A 
study of the admirable series of portraits at 
Aurich, together with the busts on the Frisian 
coins, enable one to discover what manner 
of men were the Counts of the House of 

Strong-featured, square-jawed, with promi- 
nent nose and haughty air, all show a striking 
family likeness, from the founder of the line 
in 1441 to the last Prince in 1744. 

Note. — The Enos of Sinisbury in Connecticut are of Frisian 


The marriages of the Frisian Counts show 
in a way not to be mistaken, their position in 
those courtly days, when birth alone was re- 
garded, and a morganatic union was held as 
little less than a crime. 

In that age blood was more than wealth, and 
the modern Cro?sus had not laid his vulgaris- 
ing hand upon the marriage bed. Money was 
then regarded merely as means to an end, and 
not as the supreme end itself. Men had 
broader minds, and the modern petty sordid 
worship of gold for gold's sake was un- 

The House of Cirksena was, as a rule, both 
fortunate and wise in avoiding matrimonial 
entanglements ; the second Edzard, indeed, 
aspired to a Eoyal alliance, and married the 
Princess Catherine of Sweden, daughter of 
Gustavus I. Their son succeeded, as Enno III., 
in later days to the Frisian sovereignty. 
Possibly this strain of the Blood Royal of 
Sweden may account for the fact that 
Enno III., although unfortunate, was one 
of the bravest Counts of his House. Both 


he and his grandfather, Enno II., stand out 
notably as warriors in the long succession of 
Frisian rulers, although Edzard I. was greatest 
in statesmanship. 

The position of Ost-Friesland, or East Frisia, 
on the bleak North Sea, wind-swept, and far 
from rich of soil, necessarily made the struggle 
for existence within its borders a hard and 
breathless one, and one in which the strongest 
could alone survive. This would account for 
the sturdy physique and great endurance 
of the Frisians, shown in many a grim cam- 

The country played no small part in the 
History of Europe, particularly during the 
Thirty Years' War from 1618 to 1648. Its 
records teach the value of that thrift which is 
so peculiarly Teutonic, and the prosperity that 
may come to a small country fortunate in its 
rulers, when, as in this case, they were typically 
German in their sturdy lives, in which the 
Sturm und drang of existence was not lacking. 

In fact, apart from its Counts, East Frisia 
had little history ; for men like the first Edzard 


and the second Enno were given to saying, like 
the Great Louis, ''LEtat cest moi," and 
perhaps with more reason. 

Masterful in temper, wielding over their 
small dominion a power ample in spite of 
its limitations, they owned a nominal allegiance 
to the "Komanorum Imperator," whose bust 
appears on the reverse of so many of their 

The Counts of East Frisia may be called the 
Fathers of their people. Their rule was no 
harsh despotism, it was a system of Government 
at once benevolent and firm. 

The Frisians from the earliest times have 
given proof of a sturdy love of liberty, and 
while they have ever yielded a willing obedience 
to all reasonable commands of their ruling; 
House, they could never forget that their 
Count was originally but Chief of the House of 
Gretsyl, a noble house in Frisia. 

A leading characteristic of the Frisian people 
has been their constant but firm opposition to 
all aggressive interference with what they 
were wont to consider their rights. It mattered 


little to them whether this interference came 
from their enemies or from their kinsfolk. 
Their resentment in either case was keen, and 
apt to assume a form dangerous to the offender, 
although honourable to themselves. 

It is a legitimate subject for speculation 
whether " the people," that patient mass of good 
and stupid workers who make a country, alto- 
gether approve of the changes in East Frisia 
during the last two hundred years, in which 
they have been in succession Free Frisians, 
Prussian, Dutch, French, Hanoverian and 
Prussian again. If the reigning House had 
not finally failed of issue in 1744, when the 
last Count and Prince died, the King of 
Prussia could not, as he did, have taken pos- 
session of East Frisia, in consequence of the 
reversion given to the Electoral House of 
Brandenburg in 1694 by the Emperor 
Leopold I. 

There misht still be Princes of Frisia, but for 

a trick of the Bona Dea who presides over 

births; and Carl Edzard, instead of having 

the somewhat dubious distinction of being the 



last Prince, might have given a much- wished 
continuance to the line of Gretsyl, 

East Frisia's record as an independent country 
is a respectable one. Three hundred years is a 
long period in which much may happen. There 
is much in what did happen during a portion 
of this time, from 1441 to 1625, to repay a 
little study of the history of the Imperial 
County; while the deeds of "derring-do" 
which signalised the reigns of the earlier 
Counts of the House of Cirksena are worthy 
to be recorded. 

There is a curious and interesting similarity 
in the history of the Cirksena in Frisia and 
the Medici in Florence. Both Houses owed 
their origin to a noble of the State, the Cirksena 
to Ulrich, who died in 1466, and the Medici 
to Giovanni de' Medici, who died in 1428. East 
Frisia had its Edzard the Great, who died in 
1528 ; Florence, its Lorenzo the Magnificent, who 
died in 1492. 

Frisia had its religious reformer in Aportanus, 
Florence in Savonarola. 

The Frisians rebelled against Enno HI. in 


1601, as the Florentines had in earlier days 
rebelled as^ainst Piero de' Medici. 

In 1454 Ulrich was made Imperial Count 
of East Frisia ; in 1531 Alessandro de' Medici 
was created hereditary Duke of Florence ; both 
under the supreme sovereignty of the Emperor. 

In 1654 Count Enno Ijudwig was made 
Prince of East Frisia, in 1569 Duke Cosimo 
(de' Medici) was created Grand Duke of 

The House of Cirksena died out with Carl 
Edzard, the last Count and Prince of East 
Frisia in 1744. The line of the Medici became 
extinct at the death of the Grand Duke Gian 
Gastone, in 1737. 

The broad outlines of history are made the 
more distinct by an occasional bit of shading 
in the form of an historical parenthesis ; and 
the Edzards and Ennos of the House of Cirksena 
in East Frisia deserve at least a footnote in the 
archives of history. 




'T^HE first references to Frisia found are, 
as one would expect, in Tacitus and in 
the Latin chronicles of the Middle Ages ; they 
fail, however, to distinguish East Frisia from 
Frisia as a whole. Indeed, up to the death 
of Louis the Child in 911 and for some time 
after, there was no real division into East and 
West Frisia. 

Of all German peoples, the Frisians, as their 
national records prove, maintained longest their 
full birthright of national freedom. They were 
never slow to ofter resistance to all attempted 
force and oppression, whether from within or 

Their history is a record, often blood-stained, 

of constant struggle and infrec[uent success, and 

yet the indomitable Teutonic spirit is clearly 

visible in all their failures which were more 



like victories on account of their ignorance of 

the meaning of the word to fail. 

The Frisians (Frisii, in mediseval Latin 

Frisones, in their own language Frisan) were 

originally a number of Germanic tribes who 

lived, at the time of the Roman Conquest, on 

the shores of the North Sea, between the Rhine 

and the Ems, to the east of the Bataver. 

Tacitus speaks of the greater and lesser Frisians, 

without defining their relative positions. "The 

Frisians," says Tacitus, " are an industrious 

people, gaining their living by agriculture as 

well as by fishing." According to Meyer, 

Drusus, on his expedition to the north-west 

coast of Germany, made the Frisians pay tribute 

to Rome ; it appears that they even helped 

Drusus, and afterwards Germanicus, in various 

expeditions. The centurion Olennius, however, 

having ill-treated them, they revolted, and 

defeated the Romans in several engagements. 

Later on the Frisians took possession of some 

small sand isles formed at the mouths of the 

Rhine, Maas, and Schelde. In 57, becoming 

bolder, they took possession of a frontier district 



which the Roman Governor ordered them to 

give up, unless they could obtain a concession 

from the Emperor. In order to obtain this, 

Verritus and Malorix, two Frisian leaders, went 

to Rome, and were so esteemed for their bravery 

and for their self-confidence that Nero made 

them Roman citizens. After bestowing this 

honour upon them, however, he commanded 

them to give up the district which the Frisians 

had annexed. They refused, and returned to 

Frisia to organise an armed resistance, which 

proved futile, as Nero drove them out by force. 

Henceforth the Frisians are seldom mentioned 

by the old chroniclers except now and then 

as bold sea-pirates. They took part in the 

Anglo-Saxon invasion of England, and several 

families settled in that country. In the early 

Middle Ages the name of the tribe spread far to 

the East. Frisia at that time extended along 

the North Sea from the River Sincfal (the 

modern Zwin which runs into the German 

Ocean near Sluis) to the Weser in the East. 

The country was divided into three parts : 

West Frisia, comprising the present provinces 



of Zeeland, South and North Holland, and a 
part of Utrecht ; Central Frisia, which was the 
present province of Frisia ; and East Frisia, 
which included the present Dutch province of 
Groningen, the Prussian East Frisia, and part of 
Oldenburg. The Frisians, who were evidently 
given to exploration, are also mentioned by 
Meyer as being present in the West, and on 
the Isles of Nordstrand and Sylt, while there 
was a " Frisia Minor " in Denmark. In the 
sixth century the Frisians were engaged in a long 
and bloody war with the Franks. Christianity 
was not established among the Frisians with- 
out much storm and stress. The King of 
the Franks, Dagobert (622-638), being anxious 
for the conversion of the Frisians, founded in 
Utrecht a mission ; but he seems to have met 
with little encouragement, for it was soon 
destroyed. Forty years later the Saxon Wilfred, 
Archbishop of York, a man of some tact, was 
more kindly treated by the Frisians, and their 
Chief, Aldgisl, gave him a grudging permission 
to preach as a missionary. Ratbod, the son 

and successor of Aldgisl, became involved in 



a war with Pepin of Heristall, who defeated 
him at Wyk-te-Duerstede, and forced him to 
surrender West Frisia in 689. The next year 
St Willibrord appears to have come as a 
missionary to Frisia, and is said to have visited 
the island of Heligoland. After Pepin's death 
Ratbod, who was sulking under a sense of defeat, 
tried hard to shake off the hated Prankish 
supremacy. He regained West Frisia, went up 
the Rhine, and landed at Cologne. In the year 
716 he defeated Charles Martell, and returned 
home with much rich booty. Under the in- 
fluence of his advisers he destroyed the churches 
and re-introduced Paganism, quite in the manner 
of Julian the Apostate. He died in 719, and 
under his successor, Aldgisl II., West Frisia was 
again lost, and Willibrord, who had fled during the 
war, returned in triumph to Utrecht, which now 
became the seat of the Bishopric for the whole 
of the Frisian country. 

As yet Christianity had not spread beyond 
the boundaries of Central Frisia, for the worship 
of the old gods was stirring in the hearts of the 

people. St Boniface was killed by the Frisians 

17 B 


at the village of Dokkum, near Leeuwarden, in 

In the meanwhile Charles Martell, irritated by 
his previous repulse, had undertaken a second 
expedition against Frisia and gained a victory 
over Poppo, Aldgisl's successor, although the 
Frisians fought as bravely as usual. After the 
date of this battle there is no mention for some 
time of one ruler who controlled all parts of 
Frisia. At the head of the single districts were 
Governors chosen by the people, who, it seems, 
had even then some absurd form of constitution. 
They were constantly quarrelling among them- 
selves ; indeed, Charles the Great (Charlemagne) 
once had to quell an inter-tribal rising among the 
Frisians who had taken part in the Saxon war, 
and, as a result of his interference, Frisia was 
for a time a province of the Frankish realm, 
and Christianity flourished in spite of strong 

After the interference of Charlemagne — an 

interference necessary, but regarded by the 

Frisians with dislike — commerce and navigation 

became the chief occupations of the Frisians ; 



their ships sailed to foreign countries, and 
Frisian merchants met in different parts, 
even in England. Trade flourished, and piracy- 
gave place to more peaceful methods of 

The Frisians accepted the Governors appointed 
by Charlemagne only on condition that they 
should still be governed by Frisian laws. Either 
at the time of Charlemagne, or perhaps even 
earlier, the Lex Frisionum, the Frisian code of 
law, was compiled, a code that may well 
challenge comparison with that of Edward I., 
the " English Justinian," although the Frisian 
code was, of course, less complete. These laws 
still exist in the Asegahuch in the old Frisian 
language (which occupies an intermediate posi- 
tion between Anglo-Saxon and Norse) and in 

The Carolingian constitution was also intro- 
duced into Frisia during the period of Frankish 
domination, but many old customs and institu- 
tions of the Teutonic order were retained in 
deference to the strongly-expressed wish of the 

Frisian people. 



As a result of the curious Treaty of Verdun (in 
843), Frisia formed for a time part of Lorraine. 
By the Treaty of Mersen (in 870), the north part 
of the country became a German province, while 
the south part remained a French possession ; 
but in 880 even this south part was united with 
the German Empire. When in 911 Lorraine 
was taken from Germany and united with the 
West Frankish kingdom, Frisia remained 
faithful to Conrad L The Frisians in all their 
varied changes of nationality have ever remained 
consistently Teutonic. 

During the Middle Ages Frisia remained 
a " special province," the boundaries being 
the Weser, the Wapel, a straight line to 
the Ems, and in the south, the Maas and 
the Rhine. Subsequently West Frisia was 
separated from the other parts of Frisia, 
and its history was never again the 

The real history of East Frisia begins with the 
accession of Edzard in 1430 as the first recognised 
head of nearly all East Frisia and the appoint- 
ment of LTlrich in 1454 as the first Imperial 



Count. Before that time a confused mass of 
legends does duty for historical record. Before, 
however, considering the work done by the 
Frisian rulers, it is wise to try to understand 
how they became rulers, and over what type of 
people they ruled. 




T^HE inhabitants of Frisia were from the 
beginning divided into three distinct 
classes — nobles, citizens, and peasants — who 
enjoyed on the whole almost equal rights and 
privileges in all things. In the course of time 
and in the interests of order, the people divided 
the land into districts, and each district elected 
for itself a ruler, who was called the Chief or 
Grietmann. This personage administered the 
law and was responsible for public order. He 
performed his magisterial duties strictly accord- 
ing to the ancient Frisian rights and customs, 
and was obeyed without question, although he 
claimed no sovereign rights. For the settle- 
ment of affairs which concerned the whole 
country, a General Assembly was held every 

year, on Whit Tuesday, at Upstallsboom, a place 



hidden in the woods about two miles west of 
Aurich. Three tall and broad oak-trees origin- 
ally stood at Upstallsboom and gave the place 
its name, which may be rendered as "at the 
planted trees " {ad statutas arhores). A pyra- 
midal monument at Upstallsboom com- 
memorates this custom. At this Assembly 
special enquiries were made as to any 
disputes among the people, and all such 
disao-reements were there and then deter- 
mined. If any one wished for more privi- 
leges he was allow^ed to state his wish, and 
if, on investigation, it appeared reasonable, 
his desire was granted. 

At this time also every year an earnest 
endeavour was made to lighten as far as 
possible any heavy burden imposed upon the 
people of a particular district. For the sake 
of general safety the seven coast districts 
made a league for mutual help and protection 
against the Normans and South Saxons, so 
that if one district out of the seven should 
be attacked the other six would come at once 
to its aid. This league was known as the 




From a photograph.] 

{ To face page 26. 


" Sieben Friesischen Seelande." It was a 
wise provision of this alliance that in case 
one of the seven should prove disloyal to 
the other six, and untrue to the alliance, 
the remaining six should compel the recal- 
citrant one to come to an agreement, in order 
that it might not allow itself to be united 
to any foreign power, nor be enabled to 
permit the general enemy to travel by land 
and water, or to trade freely within its 
borders. In these ancient privileges the 
Frisians were confirmed by the Emperor 
Sigismund in a comprehensive statute issued 
from Constance on 30th September, 1417, 
which contained the following provisions : — 

1. That they, " the free Frisians " (as the Emperor 
explicitly names them), or all the dwellers in 
East and West Friesland, men and women, 
young and old, should continue to enjoy in 
perpetuity all their rights, honours, liberties, 
favours, and customs, in common with all other 
loyal and zealous subjects of the Empire ; and 
that no Emperor should have right and power 
to take away, cut off, sell, pledge, or in any 
way aHenate from them the whole or any part 
of their realm ; also that all previous unlawful 


divisions, gifts, sales, or pledgings of the land 
on what pretexts soever, should be held null 
and void. 

2. Although this realm (Frisia) might not be bur- 

dened with any rates or taxes either then or in 
future, it should nevertheless be obliged, in 
return for the protection afforded to it by the 
Empire, to pay yearly, on Ascension Day, an 
Imperial Penny (Kaiser -Groschen) for each 
hearth or family ; which Imperial Penny 
should be stamped at Lowarden, and twenty of 
which should equal in value a half noble, and 
sixteen a Ehenish gold gulden. The Chiefs 
(Grrietmdnfier) were strictly to levy this tribute 
in their districts and deliver it to the Imperial 

3. In return the Emperor promised, to quote his own 

exact words : " We hereby promise that we will 
never place over or give as ruler or governor 
to the dwellers in or inhabitants of Friesland a 
prince either spiritual or secular, count, baron, 
nobleman, knight, or knightly person, patrician 
or plebeian, or any other person whatsoever, of 
what condition or under any circumstances 
whatever, but we hereby do confirm to them 
the full liberty to be ruled by their own Chiefs 
{Grietmdnner), judges, and officials, according to 
their ancient customs and laws, as they have 
been preserved to this day." 
So Sigismund pledged his Imperial word. 


The Chancellor Brenneysen, indeed, in his 
very confused and biassed " History of Ost 
Friesland" (vol. i. bk. ii. ch. 17, p. 32), 
attempts to weaken the meaning of this 
Imperial statute by stating that it applied 
only to West Frisia. It is impossible, how- 
ever, to mistake the words : "To all our 
honoured and chosen dwellers in, and inhabi- 
tants of, both East and West Frisia, 
commonly known as the free Frisians," which 
occur quite at the beginning. This writer has 
ignored the word " East," apparently on account 
of his prejudice against the East Frisian rights 
and customs. He is also in error in attribut- 
ing to the Frisian Chiefs (or Grietmdnner) of 
that time an authority in their districts as 
great, if not greater, than that exercised by 
the counts and lords of other places in Ger- 
many. He asserts, too, that this authority 
was ratified by the statute. As a matter of 
fact, the statute confirmed the title of each 
and every inhabitant of the land to their 
ancient liberties and lawful rights. Had the 

Chiefs really been reigning lords, the Emperor 



would Dot have been able to promise the 
Frisians never to set a Governor over them. 
Where the Emperor could place a Governor 
there could have been no reigning lord. If 
the Chiefs of that time, whose very names 
the Emperor did not hold worthy of mention, 
had been the hereditary lords of the free 
Frisians, the Emperor would hardly say, as 
he did, " And because we believed it to be 
worthy, right, and reasonable that the before- 
named dwellers in and inhabitants of East 
Frisia, who form a part, and indeed a 
worthy and important part, of our empire, 
should recognise and reverence ourselves and 
our successors as their true, natural, and law- 
ful lords, in token of their veneration and 
submission as subjects of the Empire, etc." 
One would hardly care to accuse the Emperor, 
in so many words, of untruthfulness, yet this 
is what the learned Chancellor practically 
does. The fact that the Imperial tribute was 
not paid by the Frisians direct to the Emperor, 
but first to the Chief, and by him passed on, 

is also brought forward by Brenneysen as a 



proof that the Chiefs were sovereign lords 
like the Counts and Princes of the Empire, 
This, however, no more makes these Chiefs 
sovereign lords than it does the State Treasurer, 
It is rather absurd to consider these East 
Frisian country squires, for that was really 
the rank of the district Chiefs, as the equals 
of the Counts of the Empire ! If the con- 
tention of the Chancellor is true, these Chiefs, 
equally with the Count of Oldenburg, must 
have been addressed as " Noble Sir." This 
was certainly not the case, and the Count 
of Oldenburg would have been quick to 
resent any such attempt to assume equality 
on the part of Frisian Grietmdniier. As a 
matter of fact, there was no Chief of all 
Frisia before 1430 or 1441. Prior to that 
time the district Chiefs exercised all needed 
authority. After the many local rulers had 
fallen into the greatest possible discord among 
themselves, a discord that gave rise to feuds 
destructive to the interests of the country, 
the faults of the early system became very 

patent, and the need of a more centralised 



system of government was evident. The 

gradual disappearance of several powerful 

families gave to the remaining houses a 

marked increase of property and wealth, either 

through inheritance or by marriage. Under 

such circumstances, the family of the Chief 

of Gretsyl, the House of Cirksena, already of 

great influence, became important above all 

others. Gretsyl was a castle with a small 

estate, lying on the sea-coast, far to the 

north, in the district of Aurich. Its lords 

had, partly by marriage, partly by inheritance, 

and in various other ways, some say by force 

of arms, obtained the estates of difierent Chiefs, 

and were therefore, of all the Frisian nobles, 

the strongest and most feared. As the internal 

disorders continually increased, and the need 

for some remedy became daily more pressing, 

the nobles and heads of households in the 

land of Ems, of whom the more important 

were Enno Edzardna, Okie Imelen, Sibrant, 

Wiart, Grimersum, Edelsum, Uphusen, and 

Carrelspel, with other leading men of the 

land of Skaveren beyond the Jade, met on 



St Martin's Eve, 1430, and united together to 

protect themselves by mutual help against all 

enemies. In this movement Enno appears 

to have been the leader ; given the necessity 

the man usually appears, and in this alliance 

undertaken for the good of the whole land, 

Enno's eldest son Edzard proved himself to 

be both wise and brave ; therefore he was 

accepted by certain nobles and some districts 

as their Chief. He was succeeded, in 1441, 

by his younger brother Ulrich, to whom was 

entrusted, in 1453, the administration of justice, 

the subduing of the unruly, the preservation 

of the common peace, and the right to make 

war for the good of the land. Upon this, 

the Chiefs of Osterhusen and Jever, with some 

others jealous of Ulrich, attempted to make 

trouble, and to obtain support from the Duke 

of Burgundy. This persecution compelled 

Ulrich to place in the hands of the Emperor 

Frederick III., as a fief, his various possessions, 

castles, and towns of Emden, Norden, Gretsyl, 

Behrun, Esens, Jever, Friedeburg, Aurich, 

Ehrort, and Stickhausen. The Emperor made 

33 c 


the fief into a "County" of the Holy Roman 
Empire, on the Monday after Michaelmas, 
1454, and appointed Ulrich Count. It is, 
however, to be noted that the Emperor 
declared that the land of East Frisia should 
retain unencroached upon and uninjured the 
rights and liberties properly belonging to it, 
and given by his predecessors in the Empire, 
" in nothing diminished, but in substance un- 

The growth of East Frisia was also the 
growth of the House of Gretsyl. Within two 
and a half hundred years, from a country 
nobleman of the House of Cirksena, had grown 
a Count, and later a Prince of East Frisia. Such 
were the origins of the princely dignity con- 
ferred upon the House in 1654. It is well to 
note that the greater rulers of Frisia were 
Counts, and that the title of Prince was not 
conferred until both the country and the ruling 
House had fallen upon evil days, and were 
declining into the sere and yellow leaf. 

It is not too much to say that the rulers 

of the Frisians were exceptional men. Count 



Ulrich not only founded a line but a country. 
The history of ruler and subject alike proves 
that the Frisians were brave men bravely led. 
The Count of East Frisia was in one sense a 
patriarchal ruler, for he was expected to enter 
into the family life of the meanest of his subjects. 
The Count was a mirror of the County, and the 
County was less than a reflection of its Count. 
East Frisia sneezed to a man when the Reichs- 
graf took snuff, and who is bold enough to say 
its head was not cleared by the process? The 
record of East Frisia is found in the lives of 
its Counts, and in considering the one it is 
necessary to study the other. 




nPHE long line of Counts and Princes of 'Easi 

Frisia, which died out with the last Prince 

(Carl Edzard), on the 25th of May 1744, sprang 

from Count Ulrich I., the real founder of the 

Cirksena sovereignty. The House of Cirksena 

flourished in all about three hundred and 

fifteen years (from the time of Edzard, the 

brother of Ulrich L, who was accepted as 

ruler by the greater part of East Friesland in 

1430), and produced eight Counts and five 

Princes of the Holy Roman Empire. The 

ancient origin of this family has been clearly 

shown by Eilhard Loringa in his genealogical 

table, where he states that one Cirksena, a 

member of an old patrician family of Norden, 

who afterwards became Lord of Norden and 

Gretsyl, had a brave son Edzard, who, as the 

leader of a large troop of Frisians, fought with 



King Louis IX. in the crusade of 1249, and 

as a reward received from him the lilies 

quartered on his coat of arms. 

The House of Gretsyl, from the earliest days, 

appears to have enjoyed a certain degree of 

eminence in East Frisia. In rather later times 

the head of the House was " Enno Cirksena, 

Chief in Gretsyl." To him succeeded Edzard, 

who died in 1406, and who married the heiress 

Doda-ten-Brook of Brookmerland ; and Enno 

Edzardna, who flourished between 1406 and 

1450. His wife was Gela Benniga of Manslagt. 

Then came Edzard, the first Chief of part of 

East Frisia, who was chosen in 1430 and died 

in 1441. It is said by a contemporary writer 

that he "dealt out peace to his people." With 

the death of this Edzard, the history proper 

of East Frisia begins, for on his death he was 

succeeded by his brother Ulrich, the first 

Chief of all East Frisia. Ulrich was, after his 

brother's funeral, elected "Regent" by the 

East Frisian States, and was made Lord of 

Emden, Aurich, and Norden. He was later 

(in 1454) created Count of the Empire {Reichs- 




I~ioiii an old pyint.] 

To face pa.^c 41. 


graf) by the Emperor, when East Frisia was 
made a County of the Holy Roman Empire. 

Ulrich, who was courageous, handsome, 
eloquent, and clever, espoused first the daughter 
and heiress of the gallant Wibeth of Stedesdorf, 
the beautiful Lady Foelke, the widow of Hero 
Omken of Esens. Of this marriage there was, 
however, no issue, to the grief of both Ulrich 
and his wife, and to the regret of the 

Owing to continual and unfortunate quarrels 
with Hamburg, Ulrich was compelled, in 1446, 
to give up temporarily the town of Emden, 
a measure that did not commend itself to the 
townspeople. At Aurich he built a square 
fortress with four towers, which was rebuilt 
later as a palace. This building no longer 
exists. To reward his nephew Sibeth Attena 
of Wittmund, who had fought on his side, 
Ulrich married him to his own step-daughter 
Onna. This caused a certain amount of un- 
favourable criticism. To put a stop to malicious 
comment, several rebellious nobles who had 

been defeated by Ulrich were allowed to 



return about 1453, on condition that they gave 
up their right of jurisdiction, and promised to act 
as became loyal and true subjects of the Count. 

About the same time the nobles agreed to 
regard Ulrich as their supreme Lord as long 
as he would honour their existing rights. 
When Ulrich had been a widower and childless 
for thirteen years, his nobles begged him to 
marry as his second wife Theda, the heiress of 
the House of Ukena, the daughter of Uko, and 
grand-daughter of Focko Ukena of Moormerland. 
The Pope gave him a dispensation, although 
Ulrich and Theda were related, and the wedding 
took place at the Castle of Berum in 1453, the 
long family feud between the Cirksena and the 
Ukena thus coming to an end. These families 
had been the Guelfs and Ghibellines of Frisia. 
Ulrich, after many diplomatic negotiations, and 
w^ith the consent of the Frisians, informed the 
Emperor Frederick III. that he would hold East 
Frisia as an Imperial fief, if the Emperor would 
make him a Count of the Empire. The Emperor 
was willing, and in 1454, Ulrich became 
Imperial Count and nominal master of Emden, 



as well as Lord of Norden, Gretsyl, Berum, 
Esens, Jever, Aurich, Leerort, Stickhausen, all the 
land up to the Weser, with Budjadingerland and 
Stadland, and all islands near the coast. The 
Letter of Investiture also bestows similar rank 
upon his wife and his children, both male and 
female. Ulrich, who appears to have been a 
good son of the Church, built churches, and 
reformed several monasteries. He also, as at 
Aurich, built a fortress at Berum. His nephew, 
Sibeth, who was a favourite of his, defeated 
several rebellious nobles, and became (in 1458) 
master of Harlingerland. As he was on very 
friendly terms with Sibeth, Ulrich did not 
require of him the ordinary Oath of Allegiance, 
and this omission in later years led to much 
warfare, and was a fruitful source of trouble. 
Sirk von Friedeburg, a powerful noble, wished 
to be independent of Ulrich, and the Count 
thinking peace necessary for his country, made 
several concessions both to him and to others in 
order to prevent civil war. The Emperor re- 
newed the grant of East Frisia as an Imperial 

fief to Ulrich as Imperial Count in 1464, and to 



mark the occasion the Imperial Ambassador, 

Palenstein, gave Count Ulrich a sword and a 

flag as emblems of the enfeoffment. This 

enfeoffment cost Ulrich 18,000 gulden, 9000 for 

the Letter of Enfeoffment, and 9000 for the 

Ambassador ; a large sum at that time. Ulrich 

during his reign built many important castles ; 

his expenditure, it appears, was considerable. 

His private means, however, were large. A 

writer of the time says of Ulrich : " He has 

transformed the sword into the plough-share, 

and by his wisdom he has laid the foundation of 

a well-governed state. He has worked for his 

House, but his w^ork and that of his House tend 

to peace, order, public welfare, and education." 

He died at Emden, regretted deeply by his 

people, in 1466. • His corpse was taken to 

Norden and interred with much ceremony in 

the monastery of Marienthal. At his coffin 

stood Grafin Theda with six children all under 

age, a pathetic group enough, but as after 

events proved, Countess Theda craved no man's 


As the first recognised ruler of all East Frisia 


Ulrich deserves a word of praise. He governed, 
as he fought, wisely and well, and his memory- 
is still held in reverence by the sturdy inhabi- 
tants of his country. 

Ulrich made his wdfe, Graiin Theda, as 
well as his nephew, Sibeth of Harlinger- 
land, guardians of his children, of whom the 
eldest was his son Enno, six years old. This 
proved to be a most wise provision of the 
late Count, for Theda proved to be an admir- 
able ruler, and there was peace in the land. 
The Emperor Frederick III. renewed the fief 
of Ulrich to his sons. East Frisia thus became 
a defined County of the Empire, and was 
separated from West Frisia except in times 
of danger. 

Gerhard of Oldenburg, a bold soldier, anxious 

for conquest, invaded East Frisia in 1473, 

during the Kegency of Countess Theda. He 

was defeated on his victorious home-march 

by Siweke of Heisfelde, and lost about a 

thousand men. His invasion was renewed in 

the following year w^ith small success. In 

revenge Grafin Theda, with the help of Henry 



of Schwarzburg, and the Bishops of Bremen 

and Miinster, invaded the enemy's country and 

came as far as Oldenburg. Gerhard then allied 

himself with Duke Charles of Burgundy, and 

again invaded, in 1474, East Frisia. In the 

course of this expedition his son was taken 

prisoner, but he himself escaped. Sirk von 

Friedeburg, a dangerous neighbour of Grafin 

Theda, who had given Ulrich much trouble, 

died at this time. Friedeburg, after protracted 

negotiations, was given up by treaty to Grafin 

Theda. During her Regency commerce as well 

as arms did much for the country, the canal 

between Etzel and Jade was enlarged, and 

ships were enabled to go as far as Friedeburg. 

In 1476 the severity of the season was such 

that seals were often found in inland moats. 

During this winter the excessive cold caused 

great suffering among the poor. After the 

death of Ulrich, the Hansa claimed from Grafin 

Theda the towns of Emden and Leerort, but 

were induced, to make peace. From 1481 

Count Enno took part in the aff'airs of state, 

and soon became sole ruler. Before settling 



down, he wished to see the world, and went 
to the Holy Land, where he became a Knight 
of the Holy Sepulchre. Before leaving, the 
chiefs of the country did homage to him and 
his brothers Edzard and Uko. Enno started 
in May 1489, accompanied by Folef von Knip- 
hausen, and Victor Frese, a descendant of the 
family Frese von Weyhe of Bremen, who had 
come to East Frisia a short time before. 
During Enno's absence a romantic incident 
occurred in his family. Engelmann of Friede- 
burg, a brave knight, whom Theda had made 
Warden of the Castle, had fallen in love with. 
the Lady Almuth, Enno's youngest sister, and 
a beautiful girl. As Countess Theda was 
strongly against this match, Almuth fled 
wdth her maid, in the w^inter of 1490, to 
Engelmann, and reached him at Friedeburg 
before Grafin Theda heard of her flisjht. 
The Countess w^as much enraged against her 
daughter, and tried in vain to persuade 
Almuth to return, but met wdth a stubborn 
refusal. In despair she gathered her forces 

and besieged Friedeburg. Enno about this 



time returned unexpectedly and marched 
against Engelmann, who had boasted that 
Enno had promised to give him his sister 
in marriage. Enno was very angry at this, 
and challenged Engelmann to make his state- 
ment good. Engelmann repeated his words 
to Enno when he met him on the frozen moat 
before the Castle of Friedeburg. Enno was 
in armour, Engelmann was not, and during 
the dispute the ice of the moat which bore 
Engelmann broke under Enno, and he was 
drowned. The corpse was dragged out of the 
water and buried amid universal mourning. 
Grafin Theda having in this way lost two of 
her children, was eager for revenge, and lost 
no time in making ready to attack the man 
she accounted her son's slayer. Engelmann, 
feeling unsafe, fled to West Frisia, and Friede- 
burg was retaken by Grafin Theda, while the 
Lady Almuth was sent to Gretsyl. She was 
undismayed, however, and escaped in beggar's 
clothes. After some wandering she returned 
to Engelmann, to whom she was devoted. 

Engelmann now served under the Bishop of 



Miinster against his mother-in-law, and made 

constant inroads into East Frisia. There is 

no record that he ever became reconciled to 

the Countess Theda. 

Enno's brother Edzard, born in 1462, was 

now heir to the Imperial fief. At the time 

of his birth a might)^ whale had been thrown 

on shore by the waves, and the wise people 

of Frisia had prophesied that he was destined 

for great things. He also, following his 

brother's example, went to the Holy Land, 

in 1491, with Victor Frese and Hicke von 

-Dornum, returning in 1492, a mature man. 

The Bishop of Miinster, a bold ecclesiastic, 

about this time laid claim to the customs 

and mint of the town of Emden. He invaded 

the country, spoilt Weener b}'' fire, and stole 

the treasures of the religious houses. He was 

a good soldier and a firm believer in the Church 

Militant. Count Edzard hurried home, but 

the Bishop had returned to his country with 

the spoils of his sword, and Edzard was obliged 

to leave him in quiet for the time. Peace 

ensued for a few j^ears. 

49 D 


In 1493 Edzard and his brother Uko con- 
sulted with the Town Council of Hamburg 
and with the Biirgonieister at Groningen in 
order to put an end to all strife as to the 
possession of Emden and Leerort. They de- 
cided that East Frisia should take the two 
cities, and as compensation pay 10,000 marks, 
a very reasonable sum, having regard to the 
trade of Emden alone. 

The accompanying conditions were these : 
That Emden should keep all existing privi- 
leges ; that on Hamburg beer, which was the 
chief article of export, a duty of no more 
than one gulden a barrel should be levied ; 
that all wreckage should be sold to the ship- 
wrecked people ; and that the Hamburg 
fishermen should be allowed to fish on the 
Frisian coast, paying a certain sum for the 
privilege. The citizens of Hamburg believed 
that the Biirgomeister Langenbeck had been 
bribed by East Frisia, on account of the 
favourable conditions granted to the Frisians. 

Grafin Theda died in 1494, amid wide- 
spread sorrow, for she was much loved. There 



Fioiii a portrait in the Town //all 
at Auricli.] 

[To face page 51. 


is a portrait of her in the Town Hall at 
Aurich, which shows a strong will. Among 
other wise acts, she added by treaty to the 
possession of the House the Fortress of Friede- 
burg, an acquisition that was to prove of 
great value in the stirring times that were 
close at hand. 

Grafin Theda deserved the gratitude of the 
Frisians, for she had ruled well as Regent. 
The loss of her son Enno was a great blow 
to her, cominoj as it did so soon after the 
flight of her daughter, but there is evidence 
to show that she sacrificed her own feelings 
in order to work for the welfare of her people, 
and for the purpose of increasing the rich 
heritage of her sons. 




AT the death of Griifin Theda, the nobility, 
the clergy, and the people, gladly did 
homage to Edzard and his brother Uko, but 
as Edzard was the more powerful, Uko is 
not often mentioned in the chronicles of the 
day. Edzard is described as being tall and 
dif^nified, keen in matters of statecraft, and 
very shrewd. It is important to note that 
at this period in East Frisia, the right of 
inheritance did not include the right of primo- 
geniture ; the reigning Count was as a rule 
chosen by the three estates of the realm. At 
this time there was no hint of the contentions 
between the reigning House and the people 
which began later, to the great disadvantage 
of both Count and country. 

Edzard at once sought an alliance with the 

Butjadings, and required of them that they 



should build a stronghold, which would be 

of mutual advantage. They refused, and 

later repented of their refusal, for Edzard 

compelled them to do as he wished. Edzard 

gained much from an alliance he made w^ith 

the turbulent peasants of Ditmarschen, who 

were noted for their bravery. In the early 

part of his reign Edzard had much trouble 

with his nobles, among others his cousins 

Edo Wimken of Jever and Hero Omken of 

Harlingen, refused to do him homage. At 

that time the Count w\as occupied in taxing 

the value of the current coins of East Frisia 

(which were unusually artistic in design and 

execution) and in damming one of the branches 

of the river Ems. Edzard, irritated at this 

refusal to recognise his paramount authority, 

and being not without some fear of its effect 

upon his other nobles, at once led his forces 

against the recalcitrants, took mercenaries into 

his service, and marched on to Jever. Hearing 

of the approach of this formidable force, Edo 

and Hero fled to Jever, and called, being in 

despair of any nearer assistance, upon the 



Bishop of Miinster to help them, but the 

troops of Edzard broke down the bridges, 

pierced the dykes, and forced the Bishop to 

return home with his allies. In 1495 peace 

was declared between Edzard and the Bishop 

of Miinster, who was anxious to return to the 

management of his own affairs. Edzard wishing 

to punish Hero Omken, besieged the fortress of 

Westerholt. His servant Hans seeins; a gun 

aimed at his master, saved Count Edzard's 

life, but in doing so lost a leg. He lived, 

and later on appeared with a wooden leg at 

the Court of Edzard, where he gained the 

nickname of "Hans up den Trippen." He 

exercised much influence over the Count, who 

could never forget that he owed his life to 

his faithful servant. Edo made peace and 

acknowledged Edzard as overlord, but Hero 

was destined to give more trouble. 

The Bishop of Miinster dying, Graf Conrad 

of Eitberg was chosen in his place. This was 

eminently pleasing to Edzard, for the new 

Bishop was a friend of his ; indeed Edzard 

married Conrad's sister, Elizabeth von Eitberg, 



in 1498. The wedding took place at Emden 
with great ceremony. 

In the year 1500 the West Frisians declared 
war against the Emperor. Edzard, as in duty 
bound, took the side of his Suzerain, and the 
Frisians of the West were routed with great 
slaughter, owing chiefly to the assistance 
rendered by Edzard. The booty was so plenti- 
ful that the soldiers sold a sheep for a silver 
piece, newly coined by the Count of East Frisia. 
These coins still retain the name of " Sheep 
Thaler." The leader of the Imperial forces, 
Duke Albrecht of Saxony, died soon after in 
the old mint at Emden ; in dying he expressed 
the wish that his sons should always listen 
to the advice of Count Edzard, whom he much 
admired. The heart of Duke Albrecht was 
buried in the " Grosse Kirche " in Emden, and 
his corpse was interred at Meissen. After 
Albrecht's death Freiherr v. Thorn was made 
Governor of W^est Frisia until the Reichskam- 
mergericht should decide the fate of the country. 
V. Thorn gave Count Edzard full power over 

the West Frisians, who appear to have resented 



this summary assignment of themselves and 
their destinies to the East Frisian ruler. They 
rose in arms against Edzard in 1501, but were 
completely defeated. 

While Edzard was fighting in the West the 
Count of Oldenburg took possession of the 
district of Budjadingerland, but had to give it 
up in the following year, and after that time 
no Oldenburger was to be seen on Frisian soil. 

Edzard was made General-in-Chief of the 
army of the Duke of Saxony in 1504. After 
some minor engagements he led the army against 
the town of Groningen, which surrendered in 
1506. Edzard secured to the citizens safety 
for their lives and possessions, and in return 
they gave him a piece of land on which he 
was to build a stronghold for himself. He 
held the town from 1506 until 1514. In 1507 
his brother Uko died unmarried, and without 
lawful heirs. In 1512 died Elizabeth of Ritberg, 
Edzard's wife, a somewhat colourless individuality 
in public life, although personally attractive. 
She left three sons, Ulrich, Enno, and John, 
and several daughters. The o-rief of Edzard 

o o 



over his wife's death was so great that he 
declared he would soon die also, but time 
appears to have given him consolation. As he 
did not wish to divide the land of East Frisia 
among his three sons for fear of disputes and 
war, he introduced a new law of inheritance. 
He called his Councillors to Aurich, asked them 
to settle an appanage on the younger sons 
and acknowledge the right of primogeniture, 
which they did with some little demur. 

During Edzard's reign there were several 
calamities. The sea pierced the dykes and 
flooded the country, and in 1508 Norden was 
burned to the ground. The material condition 
of the people, however, apart from these visita- 
tions of nature, was good, especially in Emden. 
Edzard had tried for some time in vain to 
improve the laws of the country, which were 
in need of amendment. As yet the office of 
judge was hereditary, for the Frisians clung to 
this old custom, not on account of any intrinsic 
excellence, for many of the judges were bad, 
but on account of the innate conservatism of 

the people. Edzard in the first years of his 



reign did not attempt to change this practice, 
but waited until he had gained the love of his 
people, in order that they might understand 
that he meant well by them, in any changes 
he might institute. The old laws had in 
many respects been greatly altered, partly 
by the influence of the Eoman Law and partly 
by the system of government. Edzard did not 
wish to give his subjects a new code, but was 
anxious to revise the old laws and to add what 
the times required. This revised code was 
compiled about 1515, but was not printed 
until 1746. 

To Edzard's distress the old feud with Hero 
Omken again broke out at Esens, and after 
another crushing defeat, Hero again promised 
allegiance to Edzard at the altar. 

A quarrel as to the possession of the town 

of Groningen now broke out between Edzard 

and the Duke of Saxony. The Pope sided with 

the Duke, and cited Edzard to appear before him 

at Loven, but Edzard took no notice of the Papal 

command. At a meeting at Paderborn and 

Mlinster, the Count was in 1513 advised by 



his friends to accept the conditions imposed 
by the Emperor in this quarrel, to give up 
Groningen and retain West Frisia as a fief. 
Edzard, however, did not wish to give up the 
town to the revenge of the Duke of Saxony, 
and would not consent to the well - meant 

The Emperor then commanded Edzard to 
receive East Frisia as a fief at the hands of 
the Duke of Saxony, who should henceforth 
be his overlord. As the Emperor deliberately 
ignored in this order the statute of Sigismund 
of 1417, Edzard very naturally refused com- 
pliance. In case of disobedience the Emperor 
threatened that he should be outlawed and 
regarded as a rebel. A terrible war raged 
until 1515, as a consequence of Edzard's refusal, 
between the Saxons and their allies on the one 
side, and Edzard on the other. During a truce 
of a year, Edzard sought help or mediation at 
the Burgundian Court, and from the Emperor 
Maximilian. Whenever and wherever he 
appeared in person he won all hearts by the 

grace and charm of his manner as well as 




From a portrait in the 7'o:cn Halt 
(it A iiricli.] 

To face p.jgc 6 J. 


by his gallant bearing. The threatened out- 
lawry was finally withdrawn, and Edzard gained 
nearly everything for which he fought. The 
Emperor made him Governor of the country 
around Groningen, with a pension of 4000 
gulden a year, while his eldest son, Ulrich, be- 
came Chamberlain in the service of the King 
of Spain, with a yearly gage of 1000 gulden. 

Edzard returned home in 1517. His subjects, 
who had been plunged in distress at having 
heard that their Count had been beheaded at 
Brussels, received him with great rejoicing and 
with grateful hearts. They refused to agree to 
the proposal of the Emperor that Edzard should 
hold his laud as a fief of any noble, however 
great, a proposal objected to by Edzard himself. 
Charles of Burgundy, however, became Emperor 
in 1521, and acknowledged and confirmed the 
Letter of Enfeoffment given to Count Ulrich in 
1454. Edzard re- took the Fortress of Friedeburg 
in 1517. Looking about for fresh conquests, 
Edzard resolved that the town of Jever, which 
until now had been in the hands of his enemy, 

Christopher von Jever, must be taken. 



Christopher died suddenly, some say of poison, 

and left three daughters, co-heiresses. Edzard 

asked the three girls in marriage for his three 

sons, and himself proposed to govern Jever until 

the marriages should take place. In this way 

ended a war which all historians of the day 

speak of as one that inflicted heavy burdens on 

East Frisia, and one which it would have been 

impossible for Edzard to carry on, had he not 

been able to depend absolutely upon his people. 

The war cost the Count of East Frisia some 

800,000 gulden ; but Edzard did not raise the 

taxes, and did not leave any debts. He was his 

own Chancellor of the Exchequer, and possessed 

financial abilities of no mean order. 

The Frisian had always been a free man, 

free as a farmer, free in the town, free in the 

country, and only uniting with his folk in 

time of war, but towards the end of Edzard's 

reign the old order changed, giving place to the 

new ; as the old Frisian language began to give 

way to the platt Deutsch. The old tongue, 

however, somewhat changed, is still used in 

the smaller North Frisian islands. 



Edzard had made a study of religion, and 
gave much attention at different times both 
to the polemics of Martin Luther and to the 
replies of his opponents. After some hesitation 
he appeared, however, to favour the tenets of 
the Reformer-monk, but he was cautious in his 
declaration of adherence to the reformed faith. 
The convents were, at that time, said to be 
hot-beds of vice, and Edzard, following the 
example of Ulrich, endeavoured to reform 
them. He sent his daughter Theda as a nun 
to the Convent of Marienthal in 1512, a 
somewhat dangerous experiment it would seem. 
A certain Ulrich von Dornum is quoted as say- 
ing a few years later, that the cloisters were 
worse than robbers' dens, and that monks 
were greater heathen than the Turks. 

Count Edzard's people were good sons of 
the Church, but they were not devoted to 
their Bishops, or to the somewhat domineering 
priests of the land. 

As the thunders of Luther's eloquence began 
to penetrate to Frisian firesides, a strong cur- 
rent of rather demagogic prejudice against the 

65 B 


hierarchy of the Church soon set in. Orators 

like Johann Wessel became famous, and the 

monks were forced in many instances to leave 

their villages hurriedly. Edzard encouraged this 

agitation against the priesthood from motives 

resembling those that animated Henry VIII. 

of England in a like struggle. Among others 

who took a prominent part in these discussions 

was Eudolf Agricola, who was a native of 

Groningen. His brother was a Privy Councillor 

of Countess Theda and of Count Edzard, and 

the family was possessed of some influence. 

Edzard, who was a good Latin scholar, wrote 

to Luther in either 1521 or 1522, and requested 

the Reformer to send him a learned clergyman 

who was capable of exerting some influence 

among the people. Luther sent him Jurgen- 

van-der Dare, who became the tutor of Edzard's 

children, and who proved to be a strong man. 

Jurgen, after the fashion of the day, changed 

his name to Aportanus, the Latin form. 

Aportanus, believing in the ideas of the 

Reformation, was refused permission to preach 

in a church by other clergymen, not so liberal. 



Undismayed by this refusal, Aportanus preaclied 
in the open air, Count Edzard sending him 
a troop of horse as a body-guard. The Refor- 
mation was in the early days of the movement 
accepted by the people, later by the nobles, 
who at first had scorned it. Ulrich von 
Dornum, the chief supporter of the Protestant 
faith, wrote an exact account of the religious 
dispute at Oldersum between Roman Catholics 
and Protestants in platt Deutsch, and gave it 
to Count Edzard and his three sons, Ulrich, 
Enno, and John, to read. This pamphlet is 
supposed to have had much influence with 
the reigning family. The Count and his 
family, after some hesitation, favoured the 
Reformation. No one at the time foresaw 
that these religious differences would, at a 
period soon to arrive, divide the country into 
two religious camps. 

In the year 1522, Hero Omken, Edzard's 
cousin and bitter enemy, died, but his son 
Balthasar inherited the hatred of his father 
for the House of Cirksena. Balthasar, having 

signalised his accession by robbing and plunder- 



ing wherever he could, Edzard, in 1525, be- 
sieged the town of Esens, and forced Balthasar 
to make peace and to promise amendment in 
his ways, a promise he was destined to make 
and break often in the future. 

In 1527 Edzard felt death approach, for 
he was a worn-out man, and longed ardently 
for a peaceful end. He endeavoured in vain 
to avoid a final war, and in 1527 his two 
sons, Enno and John, attacked the tow^n of 
Jever. According to an old agreement, they 
were to look upon Anna and Maria, the 
daughters of the dead Christopher (Dorothea, 
the third sister, had died), as their future 
wives. They took, however, little notice of 
the expectant brides, but on capturing Jever 
made Boynck of Oldersum Warden of the 
town. Edzard had made an agreement, fifteen 
years before this date, with his subjects for 
the acknowledgment of primogeniture, but in 
the meanwhile Ulrich, his eldest son, had 
become weak-minded while in Spain. The 
exact cause of his insanity is unknown, but 

popular report said it was through a love- 



potion given him by a dark-eyed Spanish 

beauty, whose love he had slighted. On 

account of this misfortune Edzard called the 

Council together again in 1527, and asked 

them to acknowledge his second son, Enno, as 

their Lord, because he was himself too ill to 

continue to reign, and because his eldest son 

was neither willing nor able to undertake all 

the duties of Government. An agreement to 

this effect between Couut and people was 

drawn up, the document being signed by 

Ulrich, Enno, and John. 

At Emden, shortly before his death, Edzard 

gave his sons the following wise advice : To 

adhere to the Protestant faith, not to impose 

taxes on the country which had been drained 

by many wars, and to keep peace with, their 

neighbours. His strength decreased, and on 

the 14th of February 1528, he said: "Lord, 

now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace," 

and died at the age of sixty-six. His tomb 

is in the cloisters of Marienthal, at Norden, 

near that of his parents, Ulrich and Theda. 

No Count of East Frisia was mourned as 


was Edzard I. He loved his people and 
was beloved by them ; economical and tem- 
perate, both in private and public life, he had 
before the Saxon war taken no taxes, and 
did so only after the campaign, when he saw 
there was no other way to meet the necessary 
expenses of his Government. His people 
called him their father ; he listened to the 
needy and helpless, and a love of justice was 
his chief characteristic. Evenness of mind 
in joy and sorrow was his distinguishing 
quality. He was very fond of his country, 
and hated foreigners or foreign servants. Ubbo 
Emmius writes of him : " Amabatur plus paene 
quam par erat." His subjects received the 
Eeformation at his hands, and he seems to 
have deserved well of his people. East Frisia 
called Edzard " The Great," and if the love 
of his subjects is any measure of the greatness 
of a Prince, Edzard may in every way claim 
this name. A grateful country long remem- 
bered his brilliant reign. 


ENNO 11. 


'T^HE record of tlie reign of Edzard I. was 
a noble one, and one indeed which 
rendered the task of his successor peculiarly 
difficult. This successor, Count Enno II., 
was the second son of Count Edzard I., by 
his wife, the Lady Elizabeth, and was born 
in 1505. When Enno's brother, Ulrich, after 
his return from Spain, had become imbecile, 
their father proclaimed Enno in his will of 
the 6th December 1527, as his heir and 
successor. Count Edzard, however, left 
directions that all his coined and uncoined 
gold and silver, as well as his magnificent 
plate, should be retained for the benefit of 
his land and his people. His strictly personal 
possessions, however, including clothing, jewel- 
lery, horses, and harness, were, by his order, 

to be divided equally between his three sons, 



Ulrich, Enno, and John. With regard to his 
eldest son, he stated in this will that Count 
Ulrich, although indeed highly fitted for the 
position of ruler, was not inclined to under- 
take the duties of the post, on account of the 
poor condition of his health, which unfitted 
him for the manifold difficulties, troubles, and 
unpleasantnesses inseparably connected with 
the government of the Frisian people. 

Count Enno succeeded to his inheritance on 
15th February 1528. After the remains of 
the late ruler were interred, the new Count 
was proclaimed as Enno II., and was duly 
acknowledged by the nobles at Norden. As his 
Chief Councillors, Count Enno chose Ulrich von 
Dornum, Hicke von Dornum, Omko Eipperda 
von Hinte, Fox von Pewsum, Poppo Manninga, 
and Folef von Kniphausen. Enno was at this 
time twenty-four years old, and apparently a 
man of parts. He passed through every town 
of his dominions to receive homage, and was 
then solemnly acknowledged as Lord of the 
Imperial County of East Frisia. In September 

1528 the Emperor Charles renewed to Enno 



From a portrait in the Town Hal! 
at Aurich.] 

I To face page 74 


the enfeoflfment given to Count Ulrich in 


En no's first care was to improve and enlarge 

the strongholds of his country, and several 

towns were fortified. The Ems was dammed in 

at Weener, and Aurich was surrounded by both 

wall and moat, traces of which still remain. 

Enno's next step would not have commended 

itself to his father. At this time the old faith 

(Catholicism) was not altogether destroyed, and 

the new doctrine (Protestantism) had not been 

completely established. This unstable state of 

afiairs Enuo made use of for his own purpose. 

All the cloisters and monasteries were robbed 

of their silver, altar silks, and even of their 

money, and in order to prevent popular clamour 

the minds of the people were pacified by the 

statement that the treasures of the Church were 

only collected for use in case war or any great 

calamity should break out, an explanation that 

satisfied their simple minds. At the Town Hall 

of Emden stood a heavy iron-clad chest, which 

now received the treasures of the religious 

houses. At a later period this treasure was 



lost, and at the same time many valuable 
documents also disappeared. The monks were 
compelled to leave the empty monasteries, and 
Enno and his brothers took them for their own 
use. Enno rebuilt the Dominican Monastery at 
Norden, and lived there for some time. John 
chose the Monastery of Ihlo ; the organ was 
taken to Aurich and the monastery was trans- 
ferred into a hunting-box. Some years later 
it was rebuilt by Enno III. Poor weak-minded 
Ulrich, who had formerly been of such brilliant 
promise, lived until his death in the Monastery 
of Hasselt of St John. These deeds were in 
East Frisia the painful consequences of the 
Keformation. The stolen treasures of the 
monasteries had been given or bequeathed to 
them to be used for charitable purposes, either 
for the sick and poor, or to give the people 
a better education. In taking the money away 
from the monasteries, these purposes were, of 
course, defeated, and the minds of the people 
were sorely vexed. Only at Emden and at 
Norden was the money taken used for the good 

of the people. 



This legalised robbery was not done all at 
once. Bishops and priests were to be heard of 
as late as 1540, during the reign of Grafin 
A.nna, who gave the last seven monks in the 
country money, and sent them away from East 
Frisia. Emmius states that there were formerly 
thirty monasteries in Frisia. 

A storm was brewing in a different direction. 
Luther had sent, among others, one Steevens 
to Norden, but he had proved to be a man of 
little influence. The more important German 
clergymen w^ere grouped about Luther at 
Wittenberg, while, as a rule, the west of 
Germany followed separate leaders. Aportanus 
was the man of most influence among the 
East Frisians, He believed in non-substantia- 
tion, following Zwingli's doctrine, and not 
that of Luther, who believed in con-substantia- 
tion. Aportanus gave the Communion accord- 
ing to his doctrine. As Count Edzard had 
been always in close intercourse with Aportanus, 
who was his spiritual adviser, it is to be 
assumed that he shared his ideas ; Enno's 

views were not so clearly known. In addition 



to Aportanus, Keese and Rhode, who taught 
the same doctrines, distinguished themselves as 
religious leaders. The strife between the 
followers of Aportanus on the one side and 
the Catholics and Lutherans on the other, did 
not break out openly, but existed in an under- 
ground state, in families and schools. Many 
of the followers of Aportanus who misunder- 
stood his doctrine gave up going to Holy 
Communion altogether, and did not even have 
their children baptised, an omission that was 
a ground for scandalous attacks on their 

Their creed, consisting of thirty-three Articles, 
was published in 1528 ; Aportanus and his 
followers signed it, and added necessary ex- 
planations to each Article. After this publica- 
tion criticism grew less keen, as the real views 
of Aportanus became known. 

The bitter feeling caused by this religious 
strife continued for some time in East Frisia, 
and had far-reaching consequences. 

Of the character of the reigning Count there 
is little recorded. Count Enno was young and 


loved pleasure. He was fond of the chase and 
of sports generally, in which he excelled. He 
was brave and clever as well as good-hearted 
and easily led. He highly esteemed and loved 
his former tutor, Aportanus, and gave him a 
house and a small yearly revenue, but he 
took personally little part in the religious con- 
troversies of Aportanus and his followers. He 
would willingly have ignored the niceties of 
theological discussion had not the exigencies 
of politics required his mediation. Enno at 
this time was not sure which side he should 
favour ; strong reasons made him wish to side 
with the Lutherans, for he knew that if the 
Emperor should decide to re-establish the 
Roman Catholic religion, the Lutherans would 
rejoin him. In addition to this reason, another, 
equally strong, existed : Duke Charles of 
Gueldres and the town of Groningen were 
strongly Lutheran, and Enno did not feel 
that the support of his nobles in the event 
of war would be powerful enough to enable 
him to oppose Duke Charles, especially as he 

knew that Balthasar of Esens was his bitter 



enemy, and was on the watch to catch him 

ofl' his guard. On the other hand, Enno 

wished to support Aportanus, his old tutor. 

Ulrich von Dornum, like a clever politician, 

advised Count Enno to get Luther's friend 

Bugenhagen, a very gentle and peace-loving 

man, to preach in East Frisia, in order to 

reconcile the two parties. Enno invited 

Bugenhagen to come to Frisia, and in the 

meanwhile went to the Diet at Speier, in 

order to consult the Landgraf Philip of Hesse, 

who urged him to put an end to party strife. 

Bugenhagen, however, for some reason, did 

not come in response to Enno's invitation, 

and gradually East Frisia came to be looked 

upon as a sort of no man's land, a retreat 

for all those who sided neither with Luther 

nor with the Catholic party. Among them 

was one Carlstadt, a miserable fanatic, who 

had tried in many places to raise a storm 

against the Lutherans. He had first wanted to 

preach in Emden, but this was not allowed, and 

he was responsible for much ill-feeling. Enno 

wished to harmonise all the discordant elements, 



but before attempting this he resolved to wait 
for the resolution of the dispute at Marburg. 
Other affairs, however, troubled Enno, and he 
was compelled to let theology and doctrine go b}^ 
the board for the moment. The enmity betw^een 
the Cirksena and Oldenburg still existed, chiefly 
because Oldenburg held the Budjadingerland, 
which really belonged to Enno. 

Oldenburg felt insulted because Enno had 
appointed a Warden at Jever, thus ignoring the 
fact that to Oldenburg belonged the guardianship 
of the Countesses of Jever. Balthasar of Esens, 
the son of Hero Omken, whose mother was an 
Oldenburg Princess, seized this opportunity, and 
of course sided with his mother's relatives 
against his hereditary enemies, the Cirksena. 
The fugitive Danish King, Christian II., a near 
relative of Oldenburg, and Floris von Biiren, 
with Count Egmond, the Statthalter of the 
Netherlands, a great friend of the old Count 
Edzard, wished to avert the chance of war, and 
endeavoured to act as mediators. The Arch- 
bishop of Bremen thought this a favourable time 
to complain that Enno had taken away his 

81 F 


monastery revenues. By the advice of Floris, 
Enno and John made a treaty with the Arch- 
bishop of Bremen, and gave him back his revenues, 
until a Church Council should decide the matter. 
The exiled King of Denmark, hoping to 
regain his throne, wished to gain the friendship 
of Enno, so that in case of war he might make 
use of the harbours of East Frisia. After 
discussions many and bitter a marriage seemed 
to be the best way of arrangement. The 
Ambassadors met at Utrecht, on the 26th 
October 1529, and it was agreed that Count 
Enno should marry Anna of Oldenburg, and the 
Count Anton of Oldenburg should marry Anna 
of East Frisia. The dowTy of the brides was to 
be 10,000 gulden each, and Enno, in addition, 
settled on Anna the old mint at Emden for her 
dower. Enno gave up all claims on Budja- 
dingerland, and Anton abandoned his claim on 
Jever. Enno promised to the two Countesses, 
Anna and Maria of Jever, a sum of money ; to 
Maria, being the youngest, 6000 gulden, and 
to Anna 3000 gulden. According to Frisian 

law, the younger received the greater sum. The 



two Countesses feeling wronged, sought the aid of 
a stronsfer arm, bul met with little satisfaction. 

As far as the religious struggle was concerned, 
Enno had read the document drawn up by the 
Lutheran clergymen, and had signed it in 1529. 
He called all the clergymen together for a 
Council on the 13th January 1530, and had the 
edict read to them, saying that he wished them 
to sign it at once. The ministers begged for 
time to consider the matter, and asked to have a 
copy of the edict, a reasonable request, which was 
refused. They would not sign everything that 
the edict contained, although Enno wished them 
to agree to all the clauses ; Ulrich von Dornum, 
however, wisely kept the Count from using 
severe measures. Many clergymen, as a result 
of this discussion, were driven out of the country, 
among them Carlstadt, who joined Zwingli at 
Zurich. The Landgraf of Hesse also begged 
Enno to treat the clergymen more kindly. The 
Count swerved from one side to the other, but at 
last fairly went over to Aportanus. He soon, in- 
deed, took little interest in these religious disputes, 

as more worldly matters demanded his attention. 



In March 1530 Enno went with sixty 
followers to Oldenburg, where he made fierce 
love to his bride-elect. The marriage was 
solemnised, and Enno and Anna returned to 
Aurich, where the wedding festivities began. 
Countess Anna made Enno a good wife, and 
was " loved of the people." 

Enno, wishing to follow in his father's 

steps, and to become a hero in battle, was 

anxious to find some pretext for war. His 

Councillors endeavoured to dissuade him from 

anything rash, but Enno wished to prove 

himself independent. Balthasar at this time, 

having grievously ill-treated some East 

Frisians, gave cause to Enno for a declara- 

tion of war. A troop of East Frisians under 

Enno's command took the Castle of Wittmund 

by surprise ; then Enno drew up his forces 

and marched against Esens, the town and 

stronghold of Balthasar. Enno encamped near 

Esens at Nordorf. There seems to have been 

some lack of watchfulness in Enno's army, 

for Balthasar stormed the camp and inflicted 

a defeat for the time on Enno. Enno, how- 



(By pcrtnission of John C. Eno, Esq.) 

Note — The inscription on the Gold-gulden of Enno I. in the upper ri^ht- 
hand corner is in Gothic characters, and reads, " Mo. Eno. Co. i. Fsie. oie!," 
meaning Moncta Enonis Comitis Frisia' OricntaUs. The figure is St. John the 
Baptist. The remaining four Gold-gulden are of^Enno TL, where the name is 
spelt with two n's. 

I To facc'paac 85. 


ever, at once levied new forces, especially 
paid soldiers ; in order to do this he was 
compelled to open the chest of stolen Church 
treasure at Emden. Even his brother John, 
who in the meanwhile had been at the Bur- 
gundian Court, and had gone with the Emperor 
Charles V. to Italy, could not give Enno enough 
help to enable him to take Esens. After Enno 
had lost some 800 Frisians he gave up all 
attempts to storm the town. Determined to 
succeed, Enno changed his plans, and cut olF 
the roads leading to Esens, in order that he 
might starve the inhabitants ; and Balthasar 
at last surrendered. On St Michael's Day, in 
1530, Balthasar gave up his cannon, and Enno 
and John entered the town in triumph. 

The conditions imposed on Balthasar by the 
victorious Count of East Frisia were onerous 
but necessary. Enno obtained the promise 
of Balthasar to hold Esens as a fief of East 
Frisia, and he furthermore agreed to be, like 
other nobles of the land, faithful, peace- 
able, and obedient ; he pledged his word not 

to write himself as "we," but *'I," and 



placed himself under the Count's jurisdiction. 
Balthasar also promised that in case of his death 
without legitimate male heirs, the Lordship of 
Esens should revert to the Count of East 
Frisia as the rightful overlord. He further 
agreed that of the Esens possessions, the Isle 
of Harling, and the four parishes of Wester- 
holz, Ochtersund, Dumm, and Wittum should 
remain in the hands of the Count. Balthasar 
was also compelled to give up Wittmund 
House, and to pay a sum of 18,000 Philip 
Thalers before Count Enno would completely 
withdraw his forces. Balthasar agreed to these 
terms with outward complaisance, but with 
hatred in his heart. 

The short space of a year sufficed to prove 
the quality of his sincerity. 



THE REIGN OF ENNO IL— {continued) 

TN the year 1531 Enno resolved to pay a 
visit to the Burgundian Court at Brussels. 
Seeing in this proposed absence of Enno a 
long-sought opportunity, Balthasar, under pre- 
tence of paying a visit to his brother-in-law 
in Westphalia, went part of the way with 
Enno in apparent amity. Upon leaving him, 
however, Balthasar, who was labouring under 
a sense of injustice, sought help from the 
Duke of Gueldres at Arnheim. The citizens 
of Esens had, meanwhile, secretly rebuilt the 
fortress wall, and John sent the Warden of 
Friedeburg to Esens to preserve order, and to 
see that the treaty stipulations were observed. 
He was shot, and the war broke out afresh. 
Then Balthasar spread the rumour that Enno 
had fallen into disgrace at Brussels, and that 

Folef of Kniphausen, his trusted friend, had 



died of fever. The East Frisians, on hearing 
these evil reports, appear to have lost courage, 
and if Balthasar could have marched at once 
against Emden, he might have scored a victory 
with far-reaching consequences. He tried to 
collect money and soldiers, but men would 
not follow a landless Chief. To encourage his 
soldiers, Balthasar showed them a letter from 
Maria of Jever, in which she promised them 
they should have the Castle of Jever as a 
place of refuge in case of need. Maria was 
angry at what she considered Enno's perfidy, 
and showed an unbecoming readiness to em- 
barrass him in any way possible. The Lady 
Maria of Jever was evidently a woman of some 
spirit ; she secretly got together fifty Lands- 
knechts (troopers armed with a lance), and 
stole a march on Enno by making Boy nek of 
Oldersum, whom Enno had appointed Warden 
of her castle, her own Warden, promising to 
marry him if they were successful. Enno, 
having heard of these doings at Brussels, 
hurried home, in order to prevent the dan- 
gerous foe of his house, Balthasar, from passing 


THE REIGN OF ENXO 11.— (continued) 

through Frisia to Esens ; but in this short 
campaign Enno's soldiers fought badly, and 
the expedition was unsuccessful. Balthasar 
took the church at Wittmund, and burnt the 
monasteries at Norden. An old chronicler 
says that the church tower at Norden, with 
its high spire, which could be seen far up 
the Elbe, was burnt down, " in spite of the 
woe-cries of the inhabitants," who loved it. 
The foundation stones were to be seen two 
centuries later. Enno, in Emden, for some 
time saw the sky reddened every night, by 
the many fires which Balthasar had lit. John 
in return invaded the country round Esens, 
pillaging, plundering, and burning wherever 
he could. 

The Danish King, Christian, who wished to 
regain his country, and who for this purpose 
was anxious to take the Frisian soldiers into 
his own service, begged Queen Marie, the 
Statthalter of the Emperor Charles V. in 
Brussels, to mediate for peace. Her efforts 
were successful, and the treaty of peace re- 
stored, as such treaties usually do, the status 



quo ante, and gave to Enno, as well as to 
Baltliasar, what they had had before the war. 
As soon as peace was declared, anxious for 
revenge, Enno sent Ubbo, the son of Folef 
von Kniphausen, to punish Boynck, the dis- 
loyal Warden of Jever. The burghers of 
Jever sought refuge in the castle and burned 
their own houses, in order to prevent Enno's 
troops from occupying them. Boynck escaped 
from the castle, and sought an audience at 
the Court of Queen Marie, where he made 
bitter complaints against Enno and John. 
Enno was forbidden, as a consequence of 
these complaints, to undertake any war against 
Jever for the next six years, a prohibition which 
he regarded with a light heart. Boynck and 
Marie, not feeling safe, begged the Emperor, 
Charles V., in 1532, to give Jever to Maria 
as an Imperial fief, Maria claiming the right, 
if she died childless, to leave it to whom she 

Balthasar in Esens, with the Cirksena as 
near neighbours, not feeling safe, exchanged 

Esens for the fief of Bosande in Gueldres. 


THE REIGX OF EXXO IL— (continued) 

In this way the Duke of Gueldres became 
master of Esens ; without loss of time he sent 
Hackfort, who is described as a cruel, hard- 
hearted man, to fortify the town. Enno ob- 
jected to this exchange, but his remonstrances 
were of no avail. In 1532 there was much 
excitement among the common people, caused 
by several unusual physical phenomena. A 
flood swamped the land and produced great 
misery, while the people believed that a fiery 
comet in the sky foreboded great misfortune 
both to themselves and the reigning House. 

Hackfort, without excuse, made two East 
Frisian nobles prisoners ; Enno, as usual, was 
anxious to take revenge, and the inevitable 
war broke out again. Meinhard von Hamm 
marched against Enno, and there was a fierce 
battle fought on the 12th October, 1533. 
Enno and John almost lost their lives on the 
field. Meinhard then pillaged the country, 
captured and sacked Leer, Oldersum, Petkum 
and Ihlo ; passed by Aurich, which had been 
warned, and then went on to Gretsyl, the 

weU-stored and well-fortified castle of the 



Cirksena. The Warden was Albert of Bake- 

raoor, who was indebted to Enno for everything. 

This man, however, had no courage, and after 

the siege had lasted some time, he surrendered 

in spite of the remonstrances of the soldiers, 

who beo-ged him to wait. Albert and his 

friends were later condemned to death by 

Enno, w^ho could not forgive the loss of his 

family seat. To put an end to the war, Enno 

begged the Flirstenbund (Union of Princes) 

to pass upon the merits of the dispute. A 

Council was called at Hoxter, where Enno 

hastened, giving John plenary powers to 

make peace with Balthasar. John wisely 

made peace, however, with Duke Charles of 

Gueldres, the master and friend of Balthasar, 

whom he knew he could trust. Duke Charles 

then claimed 12,000 gulden for war expenses, 

and Wittmund for his vassal, Balthasar. In 

return he promised to give ujd Gretsyl. It 

was further agreed that Count Enno was to 

aid Duke Charles in every war, except in 

contests against the Emperor or the Empire ; 

while, on the other hand, it was understood 


THE REIGN OF EXNO 11.— (continued) 

that the Duke was to help Enno in any war 
in which he might become involved as soon 
as the Duke felt convinced that the cause 
was a just one. Emden was to be the price, 
in case the treaty was broken. 

It is certain that Enno gained little from 
his constant and bitter quarrels with Balthasar, 
who was evidently a man, shrewd, and of 
some skill in arms. At this time Enno's 
attention was again called to the internal 
disputes of a religious character that threatened 
his country. 

When Enno in 1530 had given up all 

attempts to force his clergymen to adopt 

the Lutheran theses of the Council of Bremen, 

these clergymen had gone on their own 

way, and a new sect was gradually evolved. 

The members of this party were neither 

followers of Luther nor of Zwingli. They 

were apparently Anabaptists, teaching that 

Christ will return and establish a new earthly 

kingdom, and that Christians must be baptised 

again to show themselves worthy of being 

His follow^ers. These people are first 



mentioned as present in East Frisia in the 
year 1528. Tlie chief Anabaptist was Melchior 
Hofmann, a furrier by trade. He was a man 
of some little learning, and apjDears to have 
possessed great eloquence. In some way he 
had gained the favour of the Emperor, who 
made him a clergyman. He caused much 
trouble, and was driven away from many 
places ; he finally settled in East Frisia. 
The religious situation in Frisia at this time 
was peculiar, many giving themselves up to 
every form of unbridled pleasure and vice, 
while others looked upon the most harmless 
joy as sin. The latter party objected to the 
following proclamation of Count Enno, v\^ho 
was anxious to preserve the Frisian customs : 

" We command that all our subjects dress 
their children according to the old Frisian 
manner, and adorn them with silver 

The edict was interpreted by the more 

liberal party as conceived in their interest, and 

as directed against the stern and gloomy zealots 

w^ho saw wrong in any innocent amusement. 


THE REIGN OF ENNO U.— (continued) 

When Hofmann appeared at Emden in 1530, 
Count Enno took too little interest in religious 
matters to oppose him, and Aportanus was 
dead. Hofmann, having no opponent, by his 
fantastic preaching gained many hearts, and 
it is recorded that three hundred men were 
re-baptised in one day. Enno, upon hearing 
of Hofmann's success, sent for him, and it 
is said that the eloquent words of Hofmann 
moved him to tears. Hofmann came for the 
last time to Emden in 1533, for upon going 
to Strassburg he was imprisoned until he 
died. Emden, where the Anabaptists had 
never gained a very strong footing, and w^hich 
never became over-fanatical, may be regarded 
as the foundation-stone of the present Dutch 

Enno upon his return from Hoxter confirmed 

the treaty which John had made with the Duke 

of Gueldres. Then turning his attention once 

more to religion, he wrote to Duke Ernst of 

Liineburg, who was the brother-in-hiw of the 

Duke of Gueldres, asking him to send to East 

Frisia some Lutheran clergymen. These men 

97 G 


strengthened the practice of the Lutheran 
doctrine in the land, and any minister unwilling 
to sign the papers of the Church Council was 
forced to give up his parish. More clergymen 
preferred rather to give up their religious 
convictions than their rich livinsfs, 

Enno and John both hoped by the re-intro- 
duction of the Lutheran doctrine to pacify the 
land, although in later years John became a 
Roman Catholic. Up to this time the brothers 
had agreed in all important points. 

According to the will of Count Edzard, Enno 
was to govern alone, but John, who was masterful 
in temper, had always taken part in the govern- 
ment, and Enno had always hesitated to assert 
his claim to the position of sole ruler. Enno, 
however, now wished to govern alone, and in 
order to gain his point asked Queen Marie's aid. 
She promised, at Enno's suggestion, to give John 
the County of Falkenburg, if the "Commons of 
East Frisia " would give him a considerable sum 
of money as compensation. This instance is the 
first in which " Commons " are referred to in a 

state document. After having considered the 


THE REIGN OF ENNO U.—{contimied) 

matter, the Commons at Aurich, in 1537, decided 

to give John the sum required, i.e. 42,000 

gulden, if he would for all time give up his 

claim to East Frisia, and if the ruling House 

would agree not to regard this incident as a 

precedent. Enno, who was glad to get rid of 

his brother, himself gave John a revenue of 2000 

gulden, a generous provision. John, however, 

was not content, and in 1538, Enno called a 

Council at the Monastery of Sielmonken, where 

he asked the Commons to raise the sum given to 

John from 42,000 to 100,000 gulden, as Queen 

Marie wished him to marry Dorothea, the 

beautiful but illegitimate daughter of the 

Emperor Maximilian. The Council at last 

consented, after much discussion, on condition 

that John agreed to give up all claims on Frisia 

for himself and his children for ever. As a sign 

of gratitude, Enno, in 1539, raised Aurich from 

the position of a hamlet to the rank of a town, 

with town privileges. 

Count Enno had lonsr wished to regain 

Harlingerland, but he preferred peaceful 

measures. An ingenious idea occurred to his 



mind, and he sought the help of his wife in 
order to carry it out. Countess Anna, who was 
related to Balthasar, suggested to the old enemy 
of the Cirksena that he should marry Enno's 
sister, the Lady Armgard of East Frisia. 
Balthasar, who was rather astonished at the 
proposal, was willing, but insisted that Count 
Enno should first give him back the cannon 
which he and John had captured. Enno 
promised to do so after the marriage, as he had 
a wholesome distrust of Balthasar's promises, 
derived from bitter experience. But Balthasar 
was obstinate, and would not yield, and Enno 
sent the cannon back to Aurich. 

Balthasar, always turbulent, even in time of 
peace, having captured two ships belonging to 
Bremen, was outlawed by the Imperial Council. 
On account of this check, he wished to form an 
alliance with East Frisia, yet in spite of his evil 
plight he first reclaimed his captured cannon, 
and then secretly collected a troop of some 1500 
soldiers in order to carry out a long-planned 
expedition against Jever. 

Maria of Jever had rebuilt the town of Jever, 

THE REIGX OF EXNO 11.— (cctntinued) 

had governed it with wisdom and care, and 
although a Roman Catholic, had taken some 
interest in the Lutheran teachings, and had 
not attempted to prevent their spread in her 
dominions. As age drew on, and the healing in- 
fluence of time increased, Maria's hatred against 
Enno gradually diminished in intensity, while 
the Count of East Frisia had long wished to 
do away with the misunderstandings between 
the Chatelaine of Jever and himself. A meet- 
ing was arranged by mutual desire at Aurich, 
where the rival rulers met. Here, for the first 
time, Enno heard that Jever was regarded as a 
Burgundian fief. This meeting was productive 
of much good, and Enno promised to assist Jever 
if necessary. He was soon called upon to make 
good his promise, for Balthasar, eager for action, 
invaded Jever, and Maria applied to Enno for 
help. Enno at once sent his soldiers, while 
Balthasar retreated to the frontier. When Jever 
was again at peace, Maria made a treaty with 
Enno, promising to require of her heir that he 
should marry a Countess of the House of Cirksena. 

Enno, foreseeing fresh difficulties which might 



arise for his children by means of this treaty, 

wished to refuse, but Von Kniphausen, one of 

his nobles, persuaded him to accept in order 

to secure peace as soon as possible. 

Balthasar died in October 1540, just after 

his cousin and life-long enemy had passed away, 

for Count Enno died at Emden on the 25th 

of September 1540, while still a young man, in 

the thirty-sixth year of his life, and in the 

twelfth year of his reign. He left a widow, 

the Countess Anna, and six children; three 

sons, Edzard, Christopher, and John, and three 

daughters. His body was buried in the Great 

Church at Emden, where a marble monument 

to his memory is to be seen. Anna at once 

assumed the reins of government, but with 

anxious thoughts of the times to come, for her 

husband's brother, John, called, after his county, 

John of Falkenburg, had taken up his residence 

at Emden, and lived there in splendour with 

a suite of fifty persons. He now claimed, on 

somewhat doubtful grounds, to be the guardian 

of his brother's children. He had become a 

Roman Catholic, and was not popular with the 


THE REIGN OF ENNO U.— (continued) 

Frisians, whom he had renounced, but Charles 
V. and Queen Marie, the Statthalter of the 
Netherlands, favoured his cause. 

The reign of Enno II., although short, was 
eventful, and his success as a war-lord was never 
in doubt. He compelled Balthasar to leave 
Esens, and he secured East Frisia for himself 
and his children, to the exclusion of his brother 
John and his heirs. He continued the work 
of the Reformation begun by his father, and 
died at an early age, mourned by his people ; 
as a chronicler of the time aptly sums up his 
life work — Bene fecit. 




JOHN, of Falkenburg, the brother of Enno IL, 
until the coming of age of his nephews, was 
at first regarded as the acknowledged feudal Lord 
of East Frisia by command of the Emperor. 
He lived at this time in Emden in splendid 
style. Upon the death of Count Enno, how- 
ever, the Commons, Prelates, and Officers at 
Aurich took the Oath of Allegiance to Countess 
Anna and her sons, ignoring John. John tried 
in many ways and often to force the East 
Frisians to acknowledge him as their supreme 
Lord, but without avail, for these people re- 
membered that he had renounced all his rights 
on receiving a large sum of money some years 
before. John a Lasco, born in 1499, a Pole 
and a fugitive from his country, was favoured 
by the Countess Anna, and being a man of 

some learning, eventually reformed the Church 



of East Frisia, which retains to-day as its 
doctrines those laid down by a Lasco. While 
John a Lasco was reforming the Church, 
Countess Anna turned her attention to legal 
matters, and reformed the civil laws of her 
country. Among other additions and improve- 
ments she introduced in 1545 the so-called 
" Police Laws of Countess Anna," which were 
designed to increase the power of the ruling 
House. Anna's eldest daughter, Elizabeth, 
married Count Johann von Schaumburg in 
1555. In 1557, at Cologne, John of Falken- 
burg died a madman, made so by thwarted 
ambition and disappointed pride. Anna gave 
much attention to the education of her sons, 
and made one Gnaphseus the tutor of the 
young Counts, who studied at the University 
of Strassburg. In 1558, Edzard, the eldest, 
came of age. Anna preferred John, her 
youngest son, to his brothers, and begged 
the Emperor to make all three sons the Lords 
of the land. This was against the principle 
of primogeniture, recognised by Edzard I., 

in the agreement of 1527. The Emperor 



consented on condition that the Countess was 
to govern until the Council should choose one 
of the sons to be the reigning Count. Soon 
the question of Edzard's marriage began to 
be discussed. Duke Franz von Sachsen- 
Lauenburg, who was connected with the 
House of Cirksena as well as with the 
Swedish House, wished Edzard to marry the 
Swedish Princess Catherine, the daughter of 
Gustavus I., and in 1557 several Swedish 
Ambassadors were sent to East Frisia to 
negotiate the marriage settlement, and to 
arrange a commercial treaty. During this 
visit Edzard was asked by the Embassy to 
come to Sweden. Edzard's personality pleased 
the Swedish Eoyal House, as he was un- 
usually attractive. The marriage contract 
contained a provision to the effect that 
Edzard's eldest son should be his eventual 
successor. The Princess's dowry was agreed 
on as 100,000 thalers and many jewels. 
Xorden and Berum were to be her dower 
(widow's portion), as well as a revenue of 

6000 thalers. 



John went with Edzard, his brother, to 
Sweden, and there fell in love with the gay 
Cecilia, Catherine's fair sister, who was a 
precocious girl The ardent lover, then a 
youth of twenty, climbed into her room late 
one night through the window, some say 
by invitation, and was caught by Cecilia's 
eldest brother, Eric. He was thrown into 
prison and his life threatened, for Eric had 
reported all to his father, King Gustavus. 
Although Edzard begged to be imprisoned with 
his brother, John was hurried away to a castle 
far away in the country, where he was im- 
prisoned. There is no doubt that much of 
the indignation of the Koyal Family of Sweden 
was assumed, in order to place them in a 
better position in respect of the negotiations 
for Catherine's marriage with Edzard. Coun- 
tess Anna was in despair at the plight of her 
favourite son, and begged all the Princes for 
help, especially the Elector of Brandenburg, at 
whose Court John had been staying. After 
much pleading John was set at liberty within 

the space of three months, on his promising 



not to take any revenge. This unhappy 
experience of his early life made him earnest 
and quiet, and a hater of women. Cecilia, 
foro-etful of her first lover, married a Markcrraf 
of Baden, and became a Koman Catholic. John 
returned to his mother, who was anxiously 
awaitino- him, and then went to the Court at 
Brandenburg. The marriage of Count Edzard 
and Catherine took place in 1559. Edzard's 
wife stayed in Sweden until peace was restored 
between the Cirksena and the Swedish Court. 
Indeed, her first child, Margaret, was born in 
Sweden. Then coming with her husband to 
East Frisia, the postponed marriage festivities 
took place at Aurich, when the Lady Heilwig 
of Cirksena was betrothed to Duke Otto of 
Liineburgr. Catherine was a strict Lutheran, 
and very narrow in her views. Having come 
from a country that boasted but few towns 
and villages, she was astonished to see the 
Frisian cities with big houses, and a popula- 
tion comparatively dense. John returned to 
East Frisia in 1561, and from this date, state 

documents and coins bear the names of the 



three Counts, " Edzard, Christopher, und 
Johann." Christopher went to join in a 
crusade against the Turks, and unfortunately 
died of dysentery at Comorn, in Hungary, in 

1566. Edzard and John were then anew 
enfeoffed, although as yet Anna was regarded 
by her two sons as the ruler of the country. 
Edzard obeyed her on account of her intel- 
lectual superiority and habit, John rather 
from inclination and sympathy. 

East Frisia, to a certain extent, now became 
involved in the war raging in the Low Coun- 
tries. Alba was sent to the Netherlands in 

1567, where he was opposed by Prince William 

of Orange (called "the Silent"), the future 

founder of the independence of the Netherlands. 

This affected East Frisia to an important degree, 

because William's brother, Ludwig of Nassau, 

collected about him at Emden the Netherland 

fugitives. Alba, in order to disperse this 

embryonic force, sent Count Aremburg against 

Ludwig. Aremburg was defeated, and both 

he and Ludwig's brother, Adolf of Nassau, 

were slain, as report had it, by each other's 



sword. At the battle of Jemgum, however, 
Alba defeated Ludwig, who escaped in a boat 
to Emden. As a result of Ludwig's defeat, 
Alba took sixteen cannon. The Counts Edzard 
and John asked the Emperor for a compensatory 
sum of 300,000 gulden, for the harm done by 
AJba's soldiers during this campaign, but there 
is no record of the payment of any such sum. 

Terrible floods took place in 1570, and much 
of the work of Countess Anna's Regency in the 
buildings of dams and dykes was undone. 

English cloth had long been exported to East 
Frisia, and at this time many cloth-weavers, 
banished by Queen Mary I. of England, on 
account of their adherence to the Protestant 
faith, came to Emden. Anna, by the ill- 
advised favour which she had constantly 
shown towards Count John, her younger son, 
wrought much ill-feeling between the brothers. 
The Swedish Princess Catherine, Edzard's wife, 
who was a proud and haughty woman, refused 
to give way to the younger brother. A war 
broke out in 1570, as a consequence of this 
dispute, between Edzard and John. A series 

113 H 


of brotherly quarrels seemed hereditary in the 

House of Cirksena. 

Edzard 11. was tall, well-mannered, and good 

at all sports, but he stammered in his speech, 

and was not quick at thinking. His wife, 

the Princess, gradually gained greater influence 

over him, and he became a Lutheran, while 

John remained an adherent of the reformed 

religion. The dissensions in the land were 

now represented by the two brothers. Edzard 

wished his brother John to give up his claims 

to the country, and, like his Uncle John, 

to take as a compensation a sum of money. 

John refused, for in his own interest he wished 

the country to be divided. The brothers went 

with their dispute to the Imperial Court at 

Speier. The Court desired the brothers to 

equally share in the duties of state. Edzard, not 

satisfied with this compromise, asked the King 

of Sweden to mediate. The Diet meanwhile 

announced that Edzard w^as sole heir, and that 

to divide the country would be to ruin it. 

Countess Anna died at Gretsyl in 1575. 

Edzard was not at her deathbed, for the 



relations between mother and son, never very 
cordial, had of late become much strained. 
She lies buried in the Great Church at Emden, 
where rest so many of the Cirksena. Edzard's 
wife came to the funeral, which was conducted 
with great ceremony. After Anna's death 
John became Lord of Gretsyl, Stickhausen, and 
Leerort. He fortified these towns and claimed 
half of the customs money levied at Emden. 
Edzard objected to these claims, particularly 
to the payment of any part of the customs 
dues, and asked the Emperor, Rudolf 11. , to help 
in this dispute. The Emperor, however, re- 
ferred him to the Diet. The Diet, after some 
discussion, divided the country between the 
brothers, John keeping his three towns. 
Edzard asked the Hansa in 1576 to add 
Emden to their Union, which they, however, 
refused to do. 

Maria of Jever died in 1575, and by the 
terms of her will Count John of Oldenburg 
became her heir. She stated that she wished 
Jever never to become the property of the 

House of Cirksena, forgetful of her promise to 



Count Enno II. Since then Jever lias always 

belonged to Oldenburg, in accordance with 

Countess Maria's dying wish. 

Balthasar's sister, Onna, Countess of Ritberg, 

had left a son, John, called "The Madman." 

He died in prison. His wife, Agnes or Agneta, 

a gentle patient woman, held his inheritance 

for her two daughters : Armgard (who became 

the wife of Count Erich of Hoya, and inherited 

the County of Ritberg), and Walburg, who 

was heir to Harlingerland. Edzard asked the 

Lady Walburg in marriage for his eldest son, 

Enno. After some discussion this union was 

agreed to, and Enno, when eighteen years old, 

married Walburg and lived at Esens. Edzard, 

wishing to mark this day as a special festival, 

entered Esens at the head of three hundred 

riders, a sight not altogether pleasing to the 

shade of Balthasar. 

The Lady Armgard of Hoya died soon after, 

and Walburg inherited Ritberg. As a result 

of this inheritance, Enno was made Lord of 

the County of Ritberg by the Laudgraf, William 

of Hesse. In 1586 the Lady Walburg bore 




a son, who died after a few days. Walburg 
did not live long after this unfortunate event, 
and, dying suddenly, left two daughters. East 
Frisia was a fief, and recognised only male 
inheritance, Harlingerland, on the other hand, 
was heritable by females, so that the provinces 
threatened to be again divided. The death 
of Walburg was a hard blow for Edzard and 
Enno. A rumour spread that Walbui-g had 
been poisoned, and three women were tortured 
to death to gain a confession, but in vain. 
She probably died from natural causes. 

Edzard had his two younger sons brought 
up in the Eoman Catholic faith. Religious 
discussions were growing more violent in the 
Netherlands at this time, and the Emperor 
advised the East Frisians not to favour 
the Netherlanders, Rumours spread that 
Edzard was in the paid service of King Philip 
II. of Spain, a report that injured the Count 
both with the Emperor and with his own 
subjects. In 1581 Count John sought help 
from Queen Elizabeth, who, with her well- 
known love of meddling in foreign politics. 


tried to reconcile the two brothers, but their 
religious opinions kept them apart. Margaret, 
the eldest daughter of Count Edzard, died in 
1588, and her body was brought to the " Grosse 
Kirche " of Emden to be interred. The Lutheran 
clergymen, by Edzard's command, attempted 
to read the service in the church. The con- 
gregation, however, forbade him to go up the 
chancel, and he had to officiate in the private 
chapel. Edzard was now convinced that in 
religious matters he could not force his subjects 
to follow his own ideas, and at length abandoned 
the attempt in disgust. 

Count Edzard, instead of choosing his Coun- 
cillors from among his people, as his ancestors 
had done, took foreigners as his advisers. 
The Frisian nobles hated this practice, and 
would have little to do with the strangers. 
Edzard, nothing daunted, insisted upon the 
fulfilment of his orders, as he wished to show 
that he was supreme lord. This was due to 
the influence of his wife, Catherine, the Swedish 
Princess, who, after the manner of women 

in all times, and ever mindful that she was 



a King's daughter, could not forget that her 
husband was only a Count. Her brother often 
scoffed at her about her small country, and 
this appears to have touched her pride. The 
chronicles of the time call Catherine a 
"mischief-making woman." There is no evi- 
dence to show, however, any malice in her 

Edzard's daughter, Anna, whose first husband 
had been the Elector Palatine, wished to marry 
again, and Edzard asked the Council in 1582 
to settle on her 20,000 gulden. The Commons 
asked Edzard to sign an agreement that this 
sum should only be paid once, a measure of 
precaution the Commons seem to have adopted 
as a habit. 

Besides the civil war intermittently raging 
between Edzard and John, strife in the Nether- 
lands threatened to break out again, and the 
Council, in despair at the divided state of the 
land, begged the brothers to arrange a recon- 
ciliation. This appeared impossible, in spite 
of much talk, and the two turned to the 

Emperor for help, as usual. In September 



1587 Edzard's two elder sons, Enno and 

John, took possession of the fortress of 

Stickhausen. Count John, the uncle, was so 

enraged at this act, that Enno went to Leerort 

to pacify him, but he was not admitted to 

his uncle's presence. Menso Alting, by Enno's 

wish, visited Count John who was ill and 

melancholy, and was assured by John that 

he only wished for a just decision of the 

dispute between Edzard and himself. Edzard, 

still in some fear, however, forbade the gates 

of Emden to be opened to John in case he 

should come to the town. In 1589 Duke 

Julius of Braunschweig-Detmold and Count 

Simon of Lippe were selected to be the 

arbitrators in the quarrels of the two brothers. 

The Emperor's decree confirming their decision, 

which was really a compromise, is the first 

document in the East Frisian records. 

The Spaniards at this time made inroads 

into Frisia, but the East Frisian Council would 

not grant money to levy soldiers, and the 

country remained unprotected. Edzard 

neglected to carry out the conditions of the 



compromise of 1589, and new troubles 
threatened to arise. 

Count John, the brother of Edzard II., died 
on St Michael's Day at Stickhausen, in 1591, 
His portrait is that of a handsome man, with 
an air of melancholy. About midnight the 
news of his death came to Aurich, and two 
hours later Edzard was on his way to Stick- 
hausen, while his son John hurried to Leerort 
to fortify the castles. Enno's whereabouts 
at the time of his uncle's death is not 

The corpse of John was brought to Emden, 
and Edzard and his wife, the Princess Catherine, 
went to the funeral. Menso Alting, the 
clergyman of the reformed party, preached, 
and hoped by his sermon to make an im- 
pression on Enno, a hope in which he was 
not destined to succeed, as Enno was not 
present ; undismayed, Menso Alting had his 
sermon printed, and dedicated it to the heir. 
Enno, who liked clever men, enjoyed Menso's 
society, and spent much time with him. 

Menso hoped to win the future ruler over 



to the reformed cause, but Count Edzard, after 
John's death, expelled the reformed clergy- 
men, and replaced them by Lutherans. 
Menso tried to influence Edzard through 
his son, Enno, but in vain. As time went 
on, Edzard grew more despotic. He even 
imprisoned six burghers without due cause, 
and set them at liberty only when compelled 
by the Emperor's commands. Among other 
arbitrary acts, he levied high taxes. For his 
Chief Councillor he chose one Ficinus, a man 
hated by the people, who believed him to be 
a Jesuit. Edzard wished the Council to settle 
a certain dowry on his daughters, but the 
Commons refused, and, as usual, the Emperor 
was asked to mediate. He called a Council 
at Norden, in 1593, but Edzard did not come 
himself, and in his place sent Enno. At this 
Council the taxes were fixed, and a poll-tax 
was required, but the people refused to pay. 

After several more instances of the despotic 
use of his power the people began to be afraid 
that Catherine and Edzard inclined towards 

the Roman Catholic religion, and rumour 



declared that Edzard's younger sons were 

Roman Catholics. This rumour created much 

excited opposition, which was helped by the 

writings of Menso Alting, who had been asked 

by the Diet of Groningen to reform their 

Church. Edzard wished to depose him, but 

he refused, saying that the Church of Emden 

had elected him, not the Count of East Frisia. 

The Magistracy could do nothing in the affair, 

although urged by Edzard to take some step. 

Menso said that if the Church wished him 

to give up his post, he would do so at once. 

In order to settle the difficulty Enno came 

to Emden, invited Menso several times to 

meet him, and tried to gather his view of the 

affair. Enno found that malcontents w^ere 

numerous, and seeing that mediation was 

impossible, he returned to Aurich, and from 

there, washing his hands of the affair, went 

on a journey. As the Emden burghers did 

not fulfil Edzard's wish by expelling Menso, 

Edzard and Catherine sought aid from their 

relation, the King of Sweden, who promised 

to allow no Emden ship in the harbour of 



Danzig. Upon hearing this the Diet of Emden 
called upon the Emperor for help. Ficinus, 
who appeared before the Emperor at Prague, 
succeeded in winning him over to Edzard's 
side, and a warrant was sent against the 
burghers of Emden ; but even yet the obstinate 
burghers would not give in. Edzard claimed 
the alms collected in the churches, but the 
Church Council refused to give him the money. 
He called a Council together, but without 
avail. The famous Emden insurrection broke 
out on 18th of March 1595. All things at 
this time were of bad omen for Edzard. The 
Town Council was deposed and a new one 
chosen. The nobles assembled at Oldersum, 
and advised the Count to appear at a Council in 
person, and not to send his Councillors. They 
begged him, in addition, not to levy foreign 
troops, but this he refused. A new complaint, 
trivial in its nature, against Edzard, was sent 
to the Emperor at Prague. The Emperor by 
this time must have been rather tired of the 
unruly East Frisian people. Edzard, not to 
be outdone, asked the Netherlands to mediate. 



At last the Treaty of Delfzyl gave peace for a 
time to both Emden and the Count. Emden, 
until then a small commercial harbour, now 
increased continually in importance. 

Enno wished to wed Princess Anna of 
Holstein after the death of his first wife, and 
negotiations for the marriage were duly carried 
out, so that Enno went, in June 1598, to marry 
the Princess of his choice. 

The plague raged in Emden, Aurich, and 
Norden in 1597, an omen regarded as evil 
for the marriage of the Heir Apparent. Count 
Edzard had been unwell for some time, and 
on the 27th February 1599 had his relatives 
called to his deathbed. When they were all 
present he raised his head and blessed his 
children and grandchildren, making the sign 
of a cross. He asked his children for the sake 
of the love and duty they owed him to live 
in peace with their mother. Two days later, 
on the 1st of March 1599, he died, unregretted 
by his people. 

When Edzard took the Government of the 

country into his hands, the people were 



attached to their Reigning House by a cen- 
tury of joy and sorrow which they had spent 
together. Enno II., although brave and popular, 
had been thoughtless and careless, but Countess 
Anna's protecting hand after his death had 
restored peace and prosperity to the country. 
She, however, by unduly favouring her younger 
son, had sown the seeds of dissension, and 
peace was destroyed. Of the Princess Catherine, 
who bore Count Edzard eleven children, it is 
said that she " abode until old age in the 
fear of the Lord." She established a Home 
for Widows at Haag. The people who had 
called Edzard I. their father, had little love 
for Catherine, and none for Edzard II. They 
had but small confidence in him as their ruler 
and lord. The Frisians looked on him rather 
as a stepfather, and regarded his lightest act 
with distrust. Edzard himself is described as 
'* generous, pious, and learned." He ruled, 
co-jointly with his mother and brothers, for 
nearly forty-one years. Experience, however, 
shows that it is wiser to have a single head 

to a state. In this case Edzard and John 



(after Christopher's death) separated, and 
divided not only land, power, and religion, 
but also the hearts of their people. After 
John's death, the lands torn away rightly 
returned to Edzard, but in no sense can he 
be regarded as a great or even as a successful 

It was a characteristic of the Frisian people 
to trust absolutely until they found their 
trust betrayed ; when that happened, they 
were unsparing in condemnation. Slow to 
anger ; when aroused, their passion was at 
white heat, and they showed neither mercy 
nor charity. " Nemo me impune lacessit," 
appeared to be their motto, and the man 
who disregarded its warning, did so to his 




AA/'HEN the five sons of Edzard 11. came 

together after their father's death, in 

order to sign the Treaty of Delfzyl, the people 

saw that, having regard to the state of things 

during former reigns, their brotherly love was 

very marked. After their father's death not 

one of the brothers thought of disclaimino^ 

their eldest brother Enno as their Lord. This 

was partly due to their mother's influence. 

The people hoped that Enno would really 

restore peace in his country ; and were ready 

to receive him with open arms. Enno was 

in the prime of manhood at the time of his 

accession ; he is described as brave, handsome, 

and charming in manner. The chronicles say 

that he often regretted his father's severity 

in dealing with the Commons, and that he 

had never approved the heavy taxes so 



arbitrarily levied by Count Edzard 11. His 
adversaries complained of Enno's severity in 
Harlingerland, but the Harlingers, on the 
other hand, called him kind and indulgent. 
He was liberal in his views, and was respected 
by his enemies. In days of peace it is likely 
that his reign would have been a happy one, 
but the inheritance of strife and dissension 
left by his father carried its own punishment. 
It appeared to Enno necessary, that as punish- 
ment for the rebellion of its citizens, some 
measure of humiliation should be meted out 
to the town of Emden. Edzard had treated 
the three estates of Nobles, Clergy, and People 
with so little consideration, that the nobles 
still felt aggrieved, but Enno knew that their 
ambition would make them willing to join 
his cause. The nobles begged Count Enno 
to bring the corpse of Edzard to Emden, but 
they also required Enno to dismiss the foreign 
troops sent by his father. At the same time, 
the people of Emden begged the Count to 
help them punish certain pirates ; the leader 

of the band was taken prisoner, but escaped, 



From a portrait in the Tou<n Hall 
at Aunch ] 

7 'o face page 132 


some say by the Count's connivance. A 
deputation was sent to Count Enno, but he 
received it coldly, and affairs began again to 
wear an evil look in Emden. A new insur- 
rection broke out, and a Council was called 
on the 2nd of June 1599. Several questions 
were discussed, among others the following. 

Enno, as the first-born, and according to the 
system of primogeniture, called himself horn 
Count. The Council would not agree to this 
assumption, and wished his title to be elected 
Count. Much time was lost in this trivial 
discussion, but at last the Assembly had to 
give up their preference for the word elected. 
Then followed a host of complaints, nearly all 
petty, relating to meadow-right, cattle, water, 
and other unimportant matters. In September 
1599, the Concord of Emden was signed, but 
although the Assembly promised Enno 100,000 
thalers, the peace secured was only temporary. 
The nobles did homage to Enno, and in Novem- 
ber 1599, Enno entered Emden in triumph with 
thirty knights and twenty-two carriages. Menso 
Alting, now an old man, preached at the service 


held on the day of homage, and, with pointed 

reference to the new Count, chose David as the 

type of a good king. Enno and his brother 

Gustavus after the service, went to the new 

market, and Franzius, the Chancellor, made a 

speech in reply to the address of Menso Alting, 

in which he referred pointedly to the duty of 

subjects. Then the procession went to the 

Town Hall, where a banquet was held. In the 

evening bonfires were lit in front of the houses, 

and there was general rejoicing. The town 

of Emden gave as a gift the sum of 10,000 

thalers to the Countess Anna, Enno's wife. 

Enno made William of Kniphausen Warden of 

Emden, an appointment that was popular. In 

many ways Enno tried to gain the love of his 

burghers ; he often visited the citizens and 

dined with them. Enno, among other plans, 

hoped still to regain Jever from the House of 

Oldenburg. He also tried once more to arrange 

a reconciliation between the two religious parties 

in Frisia, but in vain. An indirect tax on corn, 

wheat, and salt, was levied, and, as a consequence, 

the people became more or less discontented. 



Princess Catherine, Enno's mother, had as a 

widow's portion Norden and Berum, where at 

least she was supreme mistress, and was not 

obliged to carry out Enno's wishes. She appears 

to have wished to exercise little influence on 

Frisian affairs after her husband's death. 

Enno's two daughters were called Sabina 

Catherine, and Agnes. The Lady Sabina loved her 

uncle, John, Enno's brother, and did not hesitate 

to show her preference. Enno did not at once 

decide whether he could allow such a marriage, 

but he knew that as John was a Roman Catholic, 

the Pope could give a dispensation. Enno, in order 

to simplify matters, gave to his two daughters 

as guardians his two brothers ; he then gave up 

all claims on Ritberg, and promised his daughters 

each 200,000 thalers as their dowry. His 

daughters in return gave him Harlingerland. 

The Pope sanctioned the marriage of Sabina and 

John, on condition that they should bring Ritberg 

back to the Roman Catholic Church. Sabina, it 

appears, espoused the Roman Catholic faith 

zealously ; she was fond of her people and hoped 

to make them happier by bringing them back 



to the old faith. This change of tenets was 

gradually secured, and Kitberg became once more 

Roman Catholic. The Lady Sabina was very 

popular and much beloved in her country. 

East Frisia was a country with a sea-coast, 

although a navy had been neglected in early 

days. Enno had always loved the sea. In 

the harbour of Emden ships of all nations found 

shelter; but in case of war, Enno could not 

defend himself and Germany, on account of 

his lack of ships, against the naval enemy. 

Enno proposed, in order to remedy this danger, 

to build men-of-war. The Chancellor Franzius, 

wdio had oTeat influence with his master, had 

long wished the Emperor to make Enno 

Imperial Admiral. He said, in proposing this 

appointment, that Count Enno was a man 

learned in naval matters, and that East Frisia 

had a river with good natural harbours, not far 

from the sea, which could be made useful 

to Germany. The Emperor favoured the 

Chancellor's ideas, but this platonic approval 

was all the help given by the Emperor to the 

proposed Frisian fleet. The Chancellor, who 



disliked the Countess Dowager, advised Enno 
not to allow his mother too many privileges, 
as his father had done, for he pointed out, 
"It is not good to have two masters governing." 
The nobles were now at peace with Enno, as 
he had chosen his Councillors from among them. 
Franzius advised Enno to hear and remedy 
the complaints of the reformed party, advice 
which Enno wisely took. Emden mistrusted 
Enno, mindful always of his father's faults, and 
Enno was unwise enough to tax chimneys in 
1601. At once a storm arose in Emden, and 
Enno tried to justify himself in a speech at 
the Town Hall, but in vain. The usual re- 
bellion broke out at Emden, while Norden, the 
residence of Catherine, refused to acknowledge 
Enno as its master. The Emperor, after hearing 
Enno's complaint, gave the rebellious Nordeners 
thirty days' grace, when they were forced to 
acknowledge Enno. Emden suffered the same 
fate, but only after a very long and cruel war, 
which was ended by the Treaty of the Hague 
in 1603. The Treaty of the Hague unfortun- 
ately restored peace for a short time only. 



Many Emden ships were captured by Spain, 
and Enno was held responsible, on account of 
certain documents with his seal, which proved 
him to be the author of passports given to the 
enemies. Many think Franzius acted without 
Enno's knowledge in this matter. He did 
not dismiss his Chancellor in spite of many 
complaints and requests, and in this way gave 
his enemies cause to believe that he wished 
the Spaniards to act as they had doue. After 
repeated disputes, the chief magistrate of Emden 
seized the Emden possessions of the Count, 
a measure unwarranted by circumstances, and 
satisfied the claims of those harmed by the 
Spaniards ; at the same time, he forbade burghers 
to receive passports from the Count, or to ac- 
knowledge Enno as their master. A document 
embodying these impudent assertions of 
sovereignty was sent to Enno in May 1608. 

Countess Anna, Enno's wife, whom the 

constant worry had made ill, consulted about 

this time a doctor at Emden, and there had 

a confidential conversation with Menso Alting, 

in which she informed him that Enno would 



gladly make peace with the city. Menso told 
her that Enno could only regain Emden by 
reforming the jurisdiction and showing confi- 
dence in the good-will of the burghers. Anna, 
who had spoken only of her own accord, found 
Enno "hard-necked," according to a writer 
of the time; he hoped to gain help from 
the Hague, and intended going there himself, 
but the death of his brother prevented the 
journey. Enno was like wax in the hands 
of Franzius, whose influence overweighed that 
of Anna. The rebellious garrison of Emden 
attacked Aurich, which w^as still loyal, and 
acknowledged Enno as its Lord. The soldiers 
plundered the castle of the Count, took docu- 
ments, plate, and jewels, and brought them 
to Emden ; on this foray they captured several 
of the nobles as well as the son of Franzius, 
the Chancellor. Rendered reckless by their 
successful rebellion they took Gretsyl. These 
acts of violence and robbery caused many of 
the subjects of Enno to return to their 
allegiance. Count Enno was meanwhile in 

safety at Leerort. After a long illness, Countess 



Anna died there in the spring of 1610 at the 
age of thirty-six. Enno was deeply grieved, 
but neither he nor his sons risked going with 
the corpse to Aurich, as it was in the hands 
of the rebels. The promises of his relations, 
on which he had relied when daring to under- 
take so many exj)editions, had failed of ful- 
filment, but he still hoped that peace would 
be restored by means of the mediation of 
the Hague ; but he hoped in vain. At last, 
in despair, Enno promised to give Leerort 
for five years to the Netherlands, and they 
tried at last to restore peace. The Osterhusische 
Accord, dated May 1611, is one of the important 
documents in the history of East Frisia. This 
treaty arranged all questions at issue between 
the Count and his subjects, as to taxes, income, 
and laws, while Count Enno got back all his 
castles except Leerort, which was alienated 
for five years. This treaty was the foundation 
of the future constitution of the country. As 
a consequence of the signature of this conven- 
tion, Enno dismissed Franzius, the Chancellor, 

whom the people hated mortally, and it seemed 



for the time that Enno and his subjects were 
henceforth to be on better terms with each 
other than ever before. He was often at 
Emden, and especially sought the society of 
Menso Alting, w^io was a man of great influence. 
This ecclesiastic, however, soon died, and wdth 
him Ubbo Emmius, one of the most celebrated 
learned men of his time, a theologian and 
historian. Fabricius, a celebrated astronomer, 
lived about the same time. In 1614 the lord 
of Oldersum died, and Enno laid claim to the 
castle through an old treaty made betw^een 
his uncle and the former owner of Oldersum. 
The dispute was to be decided at Speier, 
where stood the Imperial Law Court, but Enno 
took the law into his own hands, and w-ith 
his soldiers took possession of Oldersum. After 
several quarrels wdth his nobles, they rebelled 
against Enno, and he saw that he would have 
to give in. In revenge, however, he asked 
the States General (Netherlands) to incor- 
porate his country with theirs. The nobles 
and Emden, both rightly indignant at Enno's 

treachery, then united against the Count, and 



he was taken prisoner at his own castle in 
Emden. When, however, news came that 
Enno's sons and brothers were approaching, 
he was set at liberty. This was in 1619. 

The Thirty Years' War broke out in 1618. 
In spite of much temptation, Enno decided 
to remain neutral. In the year 1622, how- 
ever, some Emden ships were captured by 
the Spanish, and Enno, with his usual ill- 
fortune, was again regarded as having aided 
the Spaniards. In revenge. General Mansfeld 
ravaged East Frisia, and Enno was captured 
and held until he should pay the heavy ransom 
of 600,000 thalers. The Diet declared that it 
was impossible to raise such a sum, and in 
despair Enno sent his eldest son Rudolf- 
Christian to the Hague, but it is not improb- 
able that the plight of their Count was the 
cause of less sorrow to the East Frisians than he 
imagined. Nothing was gained, and the soldiers 
of Mansfeld were, in the meantime, treating the 
people shamefully and cruelly. Emden alone 
had withstood Mansfeld. At last, in June 1623, 

some burghers, relying upon promises of reward, 


' ;^tt 


^^^ ^P 


F ^ff 


I ^'--^ 


,,^Kfe^^«^#^"' / -,"' ■ 

■ - • •^■- 

■ ,■ ^' ^ 

i "1 

M '-Wii ¥\ 

1 J 





'■■'..>■ .<■ 



' ^ ' '. \-\y" 


Mm :- 



-:-.|^fe^^' :■ ] 


' :ifi» "-: ' 


J^rnin an old print. 

[To face pa^c 143. 


helped Enno to escape, and he went to 
Emden, quite happy to be in personal safety. 
The Duke of Oldenburg, more fortunate than 
Enno, knew how to keep Mansfeld and his 
legions out of his lands, and Enno regarded 
him with unconcealed envy. Tilly, the new- 
General of the Roman Catholic party, wished 
to drive Mansfeld out of East Frisia, to occup)^ 
Emden, and from here take possession of the 
Netherlands. As a result of all these campaigns 
the land was bare of all food. Fourteen months 
of Mansfeld's pillaging and plundering in East 
Frisia had ruined the country. 

On the 19th of August, 1625, Enno III., at 
the age of sixty-two, died at Leerort, amid the 
lamentations of the few subjects still faithful 
to his fortunes. His life was a long succession 
of misfortunes, and every hard fate that can 
befall a monarch burdened this unfortunate 
Count, who was, after all, brave and loyal 
to his friends. He was unfortunate rather 
than foolish. His reign, apart from the purely 
personal ill-luck that followed him, was most 

important for the development of the East 



Frisian constitution, and even in the present 
day, the record of Enno's reign is to be found 
in the religious and communal systems of East 
Frisia, as well as in the law of landed property. 
Enno was disposed to favour the Spanish cause, 
and for this predilection he received much cen- 
sure. He cannot, however, be reproached for 
this. It is apparent that he needed a strong 
ally, when both Emperor and Empire had 
forsaken him, and when he was fighting 
against his rebellious town of Emden. He 
was quite within his rights in what he did, 
however much his way of doing it is open to 

Enno III.'s son, Rudolf Christian, called after 
the King of Denmark, was twenty- three at the 
time of his father's death. Norden and Aurich 
did homage to him, but Emden, ever rebellious, 
at first refused on account of the presence of 
Spanish troops within its walls. Imperial soldiers 
were now often quartered in East Frisia, and 
their presence cowed the burghers of Emden. 
Rudolf Christian, in the year 1628, was on a visit 

to a certain Count Gallas, when some dispute 



arose, more by accident than by real intention. 
The Count and his suite were in a meadow 
when the quarrel began, where there was a great 
crowd. In order to avoid further trouble, one 
Lieutenant Streif was sent to drive the people 
away. He did his duty, but so ardently, that, 
hastening with his sword to report to the 
Count, he came directly in front of Rudolph, 
who, not noticing the point, was stabbed 
through the eye, and soon after died, when 
but twenty-eight years of age. Rudolf was 
gentle and wise. He was anxious to give 
peace to his land above all things, and his 
reign promised well. He was betrothed to 
Anne Auguste of Brunswick, but died un- 
married and without legitimate heirs. His 
brother Ulrich, who married the beautiful 
Juliane of Hesse-Darmstadt, succeeded him. 
The reigns of the later Counts chronicle few 
events of interest, and may be lightly passed 

To Ulrich, who died in 1648, succeeded his 
son, Enno Ludwig, who was created first Prince 

of East Frisia in 1654, just two hundred years 

145 K 


after his ancestor, Ulrich L, had been made 

Count of East Frisia. He died in 1660, and was 

succeeded by his brother, George Christian, who 

reigned from 1660 to 1665, and who left a son, 

Christian Eberhard, who died in 1708 ; he in 

time was succeeded by his son, George Albert, 

who was not unlike Edzard I., and who reigned 

from 1708 to 1734; and then came the last 

Prince and Count of East Frisia, Carl Edzard, 

who died without issue in 1744. After his 

death Frederick the Great, the then King of 

Prussia, took possession of East Frisia, in 

consequence of the reversion given to the 

Electoral House of Brandenburg by the 

Emperor Leopold I., in 1694. The last of 

his race, Carl Edzard is a pathetic figure. 

The inheritor of the glorious traditions of the 

House of Cirksena, he committed the one 

unpardonable sin in the eyes of his people, 

the failure, although married, to give the 

country an heir. The inscription on his 

coffin in the Mausoleum at Aurich, *' Ite actum 

est," has a sinister significance to his House. 

The Principality was held by Prussia until 



the conquest of Germany by the Great 
Napoleon. East Frisia was given to Holland 
in 1808 (Frisian coins are extant bearing the 
head of Louis Napoleon); but in 1810 it was 
united to France as the Department of East 
Ems. In November 1813 East Frisia was 
again taken by Prussia, but was given up to 
Hanover in 1815. It formed part of the 
dominions of George IV. and William IV. 
of England, as belonging to their kingdom of 
Hanover. In 1866 it was again united to 
Prussia as an indirect consequence of the 
Battle of Sadowa. Its next] change of 
country is still in abeyance, but if, as some- 
times happens, the history of its past is 
repeated in its future, the end of East Frisia 
is not yet. 




TTHE modern tourist is almost unknown in 
East Frisia, and no personally con- 
ducted excursions vex the soul of the quiet 
burofhers of Emden and Aurich. Peaceful, 
uneventful lives are those led by the Frisians 
of the twentieth century, although they are 
not unmindful of the stirring past. As his 
country is incorporated in the kingdom of 
Prussia, the East Frisian is by law a Prussian, 
but he is none the less a Frisian, and he 
seldom omits the Ost-Friesland that follows 
the name of his town, in writing his infrequent 

East Frisia, geographically considered, is a 
flat and fertile stretch of country that borders 
on the North Sea ; it is reached from Bremen 
in about four hours, or from Cologne in a 

day. Emden, once so rebellious, and some- 



what assertive in defence of its " rights," as 
Enno III. knew to his cost, is now a 
quiet, somewhat dingy town, existing chiefly 
on account of its harbour. 

It is distressingly modern, taken as a whole, 
this Frisian town, with occasional redeeming 
touches in an old house of quaint design, or 
in an unexpected glimpse of the sixteenth - 
century Rathaus. The chief note in Emden, 
however, is its modernity. There is a curious 
suo-ofestion of both Venice and Amsterdam in 
its canals, and the mental picture of dark 
alleys and mysteriously winding streets sug- 
gested by early Frisian history, gives place 
to the reality of a fussy little tug on a dirty 
stream. In Emden the people are indifferent 
to the history of their country, and betray a 
o-reater interest in their new harbour and in 
a promised visit of the Kaiser, than in their 
storied past. The views of Emden on old 
Frisian coins and medals suggest a metropolis 
with vast streets and towering cathedrals. The 
suggestion is hardly realised in the small 
seaport of barely fifteen thousand inhabitants. 



The " Grosse Kirclie " in Emden, with the 
large marble tomb of Enno II., which bears 
the effigy of the Count with the traditional 
hound at his feet, is worth a visit. There is 
a museum with a small collection of East 
Frisian coins, and with the shift of Grafin 
Anna; but the Church, the Museum, and 
the Rathaus, once seen, there is little else 
of interest. Emden was ever a thorn in the 
side of the Cirksena, and the languid interest 
shown by the modern burgher in his former 
sovereigns is the present-day form of the old 
hate and feud felt by the greedy traders of 
the sordid little town. Emden was in East 
Frisia, but never of it. 

It is not until one gets to the charming 
little town of Aurich, in the very centre of 
Ost-Friesland, that one begins to realise what 
the Cirksena were to the country. Everything 
in Aurich is redolent of the lost dynasty — from 
the UlHacum, to the Mausoleum in the Cemetery, 
and the portraits in the Landshaft. This is 
as it should be. Aurich was the favourite resi- 
dence of the Cirksena, and — Aurich does not 



forget. Here one finds the real Ost-Frieslander 
to whom the Kaiser is not the Kaiser, or even 
the King of Prussia, but Fiirst vo7i Ost-Fries- 
land, by inheritance. 

A small town, with but six thousand 
citizens, bowered in trees and surrounded by 
cool woods, in the midst of a fertile plain, 
Aurich is a delightful bit of still life. No 
factories poison the air, which blows in fresh 
from the distant sea, no throng of noisy 
travellers troubles the quiet of the shady 
streets, and no rattling wheels disturb the still- 
ness of the night-watches. A peaceful, drowsy, 
restful place, keeping watch and ward over its 
dead Princes, Aurich is in the country of the 
lotus-eaters, where the pulse of life beats slow. 
It is the German "Poppyland," the land oi rest, 
where weltschmerz is unknown, and worry is not. 

The horde of tourists that rushes every 

summer to the Frisian Isles of Borkum and 

Nordeney go through Emden and leave Aurich 

untouched. Happy Aurich, for ever "off the 

. main line," and secure in its cheerful 

inconspicuousness ! 



A shaded walk between blossoming hedges 
brings one to the quaint and peaceful graveyard 
(or Friedhof),wh.eTe, in a huge domed Mausoleum, 
each in a silvered coffin, in a separate niche, lie 
the dead and gone rulers of the country that 
was once marked as an independent state on the 

They are all here (all but a few who are 
buried at Emden and Norden), from Enno III., 
who was the reputed father of a thousand 
children, to the wickedly beautiful Juliane of 
Hesse-Darmstadt, and the last weak prince, Carl 

The coffins are unusually large and heavy, 
and it is possible to observe the inscriptions and 
artistic carvings on the sides of several that are 
in a state of good preservation. 

It is sadly impressive to stand among the 
bodies of this race that has passed — this House 
that rose and fell and has vanished like a dream, 
but which still reigns in the hearts of the people. 
The portraits in the Landshaft are fascinating — 
there it is possible to see the counterfeit present- 
ments of all the Frisian rulers — a complete 



series, ranging from Count Ulrich and Countess 

Theda, the founders of the line, down to the last 

of his line, Carl Edzard ; and then Frederick 

the Great, and William IV. of England, who, 

as King of Hanover, was overlord of East 


They are all there — the strong crafty face of 

the Great Edzard — the melancholy Enno, the 

first of that name, with more than a hint of his 

early doom in his gloomy air, the brave 

reckless features of the Second Enno, Countess 

Anna, who looks like a nun, the haughty 

Catherine of Sweden, the saturnine and sensual 

Second Ulrich, and the dark-browed Edzard 

"The Little." Masterful men were the men of 

the House of Cirksena. They found a few small 

tribes without cohesion, in a poor country. 

They left a compact and flourishing state. It 

deserves its place in the History of Civilisation, 

does the House of Cirksena, aud Posterity, 

always just, has so decided. Without the 

House, the State were no State. With all its 

faults, the House of Cirksena, of the line of 

Gretsyl, with its Edzards, its Ennos, and its 



Ulxichs, did well for the state, the country, and 
for mankind. 

In obedience to the inexorable law of nature, 
the House of Cirksena, having accomplished its 
destiny, and having done its work, disappeared 
from the scene. 

Its work, however, was well done. 





1616. Ubo Emmius. 

Rerwm Fnsicarum Historia. 

1622. Pirius Winsemius. 

Chronique qfte Historische Geschiedenisse van 

Sjved Pietar. 

De Frmorum Antiquitate et Origine. 

1699. AnncUium Phrisicorum. 

1744. Koliler. 

Wochenilichen Historischen. 
Munz Bdvstigung. 

1846. Klopp 0. 

Geschichte Ost/riesland's. 



Friesisches Archiv {Oldenburg). 
Friedldnder Ostfriesisckes Urkundenbuch. 

1874. Graf Edzard II., Osffriesisches Lamlrechf, 1515 

1868. Die Bitter von Schtdthess — Rechberg'sche Munz iind 
Medaillen Sammhmg {Dresden). 

1877. H. Grote. 

Stammtafeln {Liepsic). 

1886. Diinkmann. 

Das Mausoleum der Ost/riesiscTien Fiinrsten. 





(Ostringen, Rustringen, Wangerland). 
^th Wimken Papinga, 1330. 

DWimken (senior), 1353-1410. 
m. Edzi I 

in Mrouwa, ra. Liibbe Sibeth, 

»f Budjadingerland. + 1419. 





pistine Loui| 
iJohn Lewis] 
pf Wied Rui 

Hayo Harles, 

Tanne Duren, 

Edo Wimken (junior), 


HonAs of CirkBena. 

J. ., 

Enno Edzardnn, 1406-50- 

m Gcla Bcnni^ of UaiialAgL 



Uko, Chief in Ederraoor, 
Focko UkenB. + 1435. 

m. Ulrich, Count of E. Frisu 
(Moormerland : Distrie 


Chief in Brook. 

Kcno ten Brook, 

Ocko Un Brook, 



in 1 
and Wit 

Sibctti Ailena. 

m. OnnttOmken. 

Hero Omkcn, 



Wib«lL + MI7. 

1.. FOlkt. 



S. Hlhch 


m. Sibcth Atuu. 


B I 


(OBtiinsen, Bostriogen, Wancerluid). 

SibeOi Wimken Papinga, 1330. 

Edo Winikcn (senior), 1363-1410. 

Frouwn, m. Lubbp Sibeth, 
Chief of ButHjftdiiigcrland. + 1419. 

m. Tclt* ton 

mken (jnmor). 
of Oldenburg 


1517-1676 (who 
K-ft Jovir hy 
TeatAment to 

(tCount of Ewt 


1. B. Fpiflift.-Crowiiod Harpy EugU 

(Virgin Eagle), surrounded in 
the corners of the escutcheon 
by four rowels, gold in silver. 
Helmet : Crown, two ostrich 
fcAthcrs, black ; between lily, 

2. Ukena of Moormerland. — Lion 

3. Zum Brook. — Eagit 
licAd and wings. 
Hi^lmtl : Three c 

Enno III. 

m. 1. Walborg, 

John III,, 
Count of 

daughter of Emperor Uaxiiuilian I. 
Maximilian, Count of Dilrbuy. 

Dorothy. + 1604. 
m. Jomo* t'SercWA, 

, Stbino, CouDt«8S ( 

(Durbuy a in the Onnd Duchy of Luxembourg.) 
ARua: (1) Ea«tFruia; (2) Crowned Lions, 

5. Wittmond, — Two chained whips, 

goU in blue. Helmet: Crown 
.'hculcheon ; in the middle, lily 

6. Jever.— Lion, gold in blue. Hel- 

met : Crown, three ostrich 
feathery blue gold. 

7. Haiula^. — Beam covered with 

rhombs Alternatively, gold and 
whit«, red in white, accompanied 
by three upturned crescents. 
B. Bitberg.— Eagle, gold in red. Hel- 
met : Escutcheon (on the helmet) 

of Wiirtemberg- 
Chrifitiun Eberhard, 


Ediard Ferdinand, 
m. Anne Dorothy, 



Vlar.v ETiiLV<t>De, 

n. Maximilian Ulrich, 
Count of Kauniti, 1689-1746. 

IVencealas Anthony, 1746-1794, 
Prince, 1764. 

Dominique Andrew, 1704-IBIS.